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Celebs & Alumnae Fight to Save Bennett College; HBCU Faces Closure

Bennett College, a liberal arts HBCU for women in Greensboro, North Carolina, is currently facing closure due to lack of funding. The college’s president, Dr. Phyllis Dawkins, says the institute needs at least $5 million by February to keep its doors open, and with the help of several supporters, she believes that goal an be met.

“The only thing we can do between now and Feb. 1 is to impact our financial resources and we need about $5 million — at least #5 million — to stabilize the institution,” Dawkins said, according to My Fox 8. “Between Dec. 11 to the present, we’ve raised almost a half million dollars in that short period of time.”

Bennett’s president credits the “Stand With Bennett” campaign with getting the ball rolling. Several “Bennett Belle” alumnae and celebrity supporters have contributed. Organizations that have donated so far include The National Council of Negro Women, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the United Negro College Fund; the United Methodist Church; New Birth Missionary Baptist Church; and the Women’s Coalition.

Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Empire, and his brother, Jake Smollett, an actor and chef, shared their commitment to the institution on social media.

“In the 1930s we had 121 #HBCUs now we’re at 101,” Jussie wrote. “Don’t let us be down to 100 if #BennettCollege, who has made the education of black women a priority since 1926, closes its doors. The legacy must continue. Click/share @bennettcollege & Donate today  #standwithbennett love&respect✊🏿”

You can donate to Bennett College at


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