The campaign to save North Carolina’s Bennett College has drawn some high-profile supporters, including Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who this week reported he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men who uttered racial and homophobic slurs.
Now supporters of Smollett are giving to Bennett in his honor, according to social media posts under the school’s campaign slogan, #StandWithBennett.
One Twitter user identified only as @RamblinRobin tweeted a receipt of a gift to Bennett, adding, “Because of the evil wrought upon you last night, I came to your Twitter, saw your re-tweet of @donnabrazile, researched @BennettCollege, and just finished my donation. Good acts will beat evil ones.”
The historically black college in Greensboro — one of only two all-women HBCUs in the nation — has until Feb. 1 to raise a total of $5 million in an effort to try to hold onto its accreditation. In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges notified Bennett that its accreditation was revoked because of a lack of financial resources. The college had been on probation for the previous two years, and a loss of accreditation could lead to Bennett’s closure.
In recent weeks, Jussie Smollett, his brother Jake Smollett and sister Jazz Smollett joined in the campaign to help raise awareness of the school’s plight. They wore navy blue “Stand with Bennett” T-shirts in photos posted to Twitter. Jussie and Jazz Smollett appeared with Bennett College President Phyllis Dawkins in an interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC earlier this week.
“We can raise this amount. I’m fired up, ready to go,” Smollett said on MSNBC, adding, “I think that we have a very real opportunity right now to continue to uplift the education of women, and black women specifically.” Read more via News and Observer
In the 1930s we had 121 #HBCUs now we’re at 101. 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✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/khYfxFKYW0— Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) December 22, 2018