Giving Compass' Take:

Adam Harris, writing for The Atlantic, interviews Wayne Frederick, the president of Howard University, on the importance of America's HBCUs.

HBCUs play a valuable role in diversifying the nation. What are the benefits of ensuring that HBCUs are sustainable?

Read more about why we need HBCUs.

A question that leads most conversations about historically black colleges goes something like this: The purpose of black colleges was clear before Brown v. Board of Education, but now that black students can attend any college, why are these schools still necessary?

A few statistics give a rather clear answer. Despite the fact that black colleges (often referred to as HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities) account for just 3 percent of four-year nonprofit colleges, their alumni account for roughly 80 percent of black judges and 50 percent of black lawyers and doctors, and their students account for 25 percent of black undergraduates who earn degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Even so, many of the institutions are struggling financially.

On Tuesday, during the The Atlantic's Education Summit in Washington, D.C., Wayne Frederick, the president of Howard University, one of the nation’s most storied black colleges, spoke with me about why people still question the relevance of these institutions, what HBCUs can do to advocate for themselves, and, in light of a recent controversy involving white people walking their dogs on Howard’s campus, how gentrification is affecting the black college in the nation’s capital.

Read the full article about HBCUs by Adam Harris at The Atlantic.