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HBCU Professor Launches ‘Ida B. Wells Textbook Fund’ To Help Students In Need

HBCU Professor Launches ‘Ida B. Wells Textbook Fund’ To Help Students In Need

She’s paying homage to the late journalist through a worthy initiative!

An HBCU professor launched the “Ida B. Wells-Barnett Textbook Fund” to help students in need, Black Enterprise reports. 

Dr. Stacey Patton is a professor of journalism at Morgan State University, a historically Black college located in Baltimore, Maryland. Since she began in 2016, she often noticed that some of her students were struggling to keep up with assignments. When she found out the reason why, she decided to do something to help. 

“Upon further investigation, I discovered that they had not purchased books for class because they could not afford them. As many of you probably know, the costs to attend college have skyrocketed over the past few decades. Paying for tuition, housing, meals, and books is often a struggle for many students across the country,” Patton explained. 

That’s when she decided to launch the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Textbook Fund, named after the late civil rights pioneer who used journalism as a tool for freedom. Patton has been running the fund for the last nine academic semesters, raising more than $150,000 to help students in need. Now, she’s hoping to get the word out about the initiative, so she can help even more students at Morgan State and Howard University who are struggling financially. Patton recently relaunched a GoFundMe campaign with the hopes of raising $25,000, eventually surpassing the goal by more than $5,000. 

The funds go to helping about 70 students across the two HBCUs. Students are required to complete a form listing all of the textbooks they need and those who are selected receive a $250 stipend on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition to purchasing textbooks, students can also use the funds for course software, hotspots, and digital equipment needed for production classes. 

Patton said the funds usually go quickly and she often has to turn students away. She keeps relaunching the fund every semester in an effort to help as many students as she can. Past recipients took to YouTube in a video posted to the GoFundMe to express their gratitude, thanking everyone for donating and calling the funds “a blessing and a help.”

 “I’ve heard from many recipients that this textbook fund has made a huge difference in their ability to perform well and complete their coursework…No amount is too small. Our students appreciate your generosity,” said Patton. 

Thank you for your contributions, Dr. Patton! 

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Stacey Patton/YouTube