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New Documentary Celebrates the Legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

February 1, 2018

“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” is a documentary that examines the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on U.S. history, culture and identity. The work of The Black College Fund (BCF) at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) supports the 11 United Methodist-related historically Black colleges and universities and is included within the documentary.

“Tell Them We Are Rising” will premiere on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) February 19, at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition, Cynthia Bond Hopson, Ph.D., assistant general secretary, Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM, is participating in local screenings (Nashville, Tennessee) and panel discussions of the documentary.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are still very relevant and needed, and are still producing leaders for The United Methodist Church and the world,” said Bond Hopson. “We are extremely proud and honored to be a part of the ongoing work at our 11 HBCUs. This documentary does an outstanding job in sharing the story of these schools and other HBCUs across the country. We are thrilled about the release and hope that it helps to educate and create greater awareness around the impact and legacy of black colleges in the U.S.”

BCF helps to eliminate the myth that Black colleges are no longer needed because students can go anywhere they choose to pursue a college degree. While that may be true of students from the best schools with the best scores and no financial constraints, the United Methodist-related HBCUs offer a chance to everyone with a dream and a commitment to excel – regardless of race, class, gender, or ethnic heritage.

Through BCF, The United Methodist Church invests in the hopes and dreams of those students attending HBCUs by providing funding for faculty development, infrastructure maintenance, and for students who need financial support and scholarships. BCF helps the HBCUs to keep tuition and fees competitive, and supports fields of study and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To learn more about The Black College Fund, visit

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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