By Darryl Jeffries
Bloomfield College, under the leadership of its first black president, Dr Marcheta Evans, needs a coalition of generosity to keep the college afloat, throughout its 153-year history.
Dr Evans, who holds a doctorate in counseling, is on a mission to create pathways of opportunity for students from underserved communities.
During her short tenure, she pursues an aggressive agenda to reinvent her advocacy by believing deeply in the ability and worth of every student to excel despite the odds against them and achieve their bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Her efforts have put her on a trajectory to achieve an enviable and rising graduation rate for her students.
When Upsala College closed, the student body had become predominantly black and Hispanic. Its impact has been devastating for the community of East Orange and its neighboring towns.
As President of the NAACP Oranges & Maplewood, Bloomfield College is one of two institutions (Seton Hall) of higher education in the 11 catchment communities represented by our branch.
Coincidentally, we led a delegation to the Bloomfield College campus last week for a meeting in our efforts to reestablish an NAACP chapter at the college.
Dr Evans recognized the importance of the NAACP’s mission in its pursuit of justice and equality for all and recently became a new member of the Oranges & Maplewood branch.
Together, as community partners – businesses, foundations, nonprofits and our elected local, state and federal leaders – are working to galvanize into a coalition of generosity to guide Bloomfield College from economic uncertainty to economic solvency, to that it can continue to be a beacon of opportunity and advancement for students of color and for all students.
Because while Bloomfield College may be a private four-year higher education institution, it serves a very public purpose and deserves our support.
Darryl L. Jeffries is the president of the Orange & Maplewood branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
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