TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - An organization that educates students on the value of historically black colleges and universities is working to help Stillman College with its financial problems.
BCSG 360 plans to donate $1 for every person in attendance at the Magic City Diamond Classic to Stillman College. The Magic City Diamond Classic, between Alabama A&M and Alabama State, is Friday at Regions Field in Birmingham.
Last month, Stillman sent a letter to alumni saying they needed to raise $275,000 by April.
Although Stillman is not playing in the Magic City Diamond Classic, BCSG 360 says this event is still a good opportunity to support Stillman.
"They are still part of one big family, which is the HBCU family, so we will utilize this event to not only market and promote HBCUs, but take the opportunity to tell the story about Stillman and also encourage students to look at Stillman," BCSG 360 Executive Director Prentiss Hill said.
Hill also said supporting Stillman is important to HBCUs as a whole.
"If we allow, as a community, to let Stillman face that situation and ultimately close, then we're setting a precedent. Because once that institution closes, it's going to be another and another and another, and before you know it, historically black colleges and universities would be on a quote unquote 'endangered species list.'"
Before the Magic City Diamond Classic, there will be a college fair, where prospective students can get information about admission to Stillman. BCSG 360 also plans to help Stillman recruit students in other parts of the country.
"Hopefully, we can raise enough money and awareness, so that next year, we're talking about attendance problems at Stillman because it's overflowing with students, and not because they can't find enough," educator Al Elliott, who is also involved with the effort, said.
Elliott says Stillman and other HBCUs serve an important purpose, and need to be supported and sustained. "I think there's no other more pressing time than now to have those institutions repurpose for the 'now,' for the world that we find ourselves living in, and try to solve some of the problems that we've been trying to solve historically, ever since we've been here."
Learn more about BCSG 360 and the Magic City Diamond Classic at http://bcsg360.org/