TSU Alum Howard Burrell Says Confederate flag never Symbolized Regional Pride

Hours after the flag was removed Friday from the South Carolina Capitol grounds, Burrell summed up what it always has represented to him.

“Anti-black. Pro-slavery. White superiority,” said Burrell, a 35-year Vernon resident and the last Democratic freeholder elected in Republican-dominated Sussex County.

Sightings of the Confederate flag are unusual, but not unheard of, in a county where under 2 percent of residents are black. Burrell said he understands that some who display the flag may not intend any ill will.

Still, encountering it always makes him uncomfortable.

“There’s a person who flies the Confederate flag, down the road from me. I keep wondering, what kind of people live there,” Burrell said.

While acknowledging that “they might be very, very nice people,” Burrell said, “If I had an accident, that would be the last home I went to.”

Despite South Carolina’s dramatic retreat on the flag, stemming from the racially motivated murders of nine black men and women at a Charleston church June 17, some continue to view the flag as a harmless nod to heritage. A prominent example would appear to be singer Kid Rock, who has used the flag on stage and told off protesters last week.

To many others, Burrell included, that heritage is intertwined with oppression and is nothing to honor. He is old enough to have experienced a time when white opponents of integration adopted the Confederate flag as a taunting, threatening symbol of resistance.

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TSU Student Creates Keep Hope Alive Scholarship

Guy Stanford, a Clarksville native, dreams of saving the world one day. He just decided to start that process on a smaller scale.

The 19-year-old Tennessee State University student began his own scholarship fund, named the Guy Stanford Keep Hope Alive Scholarship, that awards area students who did not qualify for the state’s Hope Scholarship, a one-time grant to help pay for expenses related to attending college.

“It’s just my way of giving back,” Stanford said, a graduate of Kenwood High School. “I love Clarksville. Everybody here.”

“ … I’m only 19 but if I’m in a position where I can help, I can help. Especially in my home town.”

Approximately 25 applicants’ submitted essays for the award this year before Stanford selected two, Daisalynn Iris and Aaliyah Bass, to receive a $750 check each.

“ … Saving Hope is not what the Hope is. With the Hope you get $1,500 a semester and this is a one-time grant. But this is like half your housing right here. It’s no $1,500 a semester but it’s a start.”

That start is particularly important to award recipient Bass, a fellow TSU student with Stanford.

“It actually means a lot, just knowing it’s a young adult doing stuff to help other young adults. It’s something great as well as it’s going to help school-wise, financially big time,” said Bass, who plans on using her award for psychology text book purchases. “I’m just really happy about that.”

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TSU Alum Webb Appointed Division Director of Developmental Disabilities of Nebraska

webbWebb Appointed Division Director of Developmental Disabilities

Yolanda Webb of New Orleans, Louisiana, serves as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Human Services District, the planning and public policy body for Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. In this role, Webb oversees a $27 million budget and human service programs in behavioral health, developmental disabilities, and addiction/substance abuse.

From 2002-2004, Webb served as the Executive Director of Montgomery County Developmental Disabilities in Dayton, Ohio, where she was responsible for a $35 million budget, staff of 700, and the coordination of lifelong, wrap-around services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Webb also served as the Assistant to the Superintendent of the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Board in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Additionally, Webb has worked as the Editor-in-Chief of E’LON Magazine, and the Chief Executive Officer of E’LON Cosmetics, a cosmetics brand Webb helped to launch.

Webb holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Tennessee State University, a Master in Humanities from Xavier University, and a PhD in Public Policy from Union Institute & University.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to work alongside Courtney Phillips and Governor Ricketts,” said Yolanda Webb. “Joining the Division of Developmental Disabilities builds on my previous experience and gives me a new way to continue to serve a community to which I have felt called to dedicate much of my professional career.”

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Former TSU Football Player Was Affected by The Charleston Shooting

Remembering Charleston church shooting victims

Sharonda Singleton was living what would appear to be a full and busy life.

She was also a reverend at Emanuel AME Church, and she was a member of a sporting family.

She was married to Christopher Singleton, who played football at Tennessee State University. And her son, Chris, who was born in 1995, plays baseball for Charleston Southern University.

Before fighting off tears as he hugged his teammates, Chris Singleton described his mother as “a God-fearing woman (who) loved everybody with all her heart.”

“Love is always stronger than hate,” he told reporters. “So if we just loved the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to what it is.”

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TSU Launches 2015 Founder’s Day Challenge

Day 5 Image

Tennessee State University along with the support of a group of Alumni will launch a month long Founder’s Day challenge. Tennessee State University’s founder’s day is on June 19.

The goals of the campaign are to:

a) Raise TSU’s annual alumni giving participation rate to 10% with small dollar gifts ($5 or more) (based on a 1-year or 2-year average measure).

b) Connect TSU alumni to the TSU Foundation and local alumni social networks.

c) Create an attitude and culture of life-long TSU philanthropy.

Please follow #TSU10 on all social media accounts for more information. Alumni may also donate online and snail mail as well.

The text giving proceeds will go to the TSU President’s Challenge Fund.

Tennessee State University Alum LaVita Tuff on Baltimore’s Future on NPR

LaVita Tuff works with the local policy team to improve online access to government information. Her work focuses on analyzing and writing about government data disclosure in addition to providing feedback on adoption and implementation of open data, open meetings and open government policies at the state and municipal levels.

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