Presidential DEI Statements

We Stand United

Feb. 9, 2022

Message from the Presidents of Mississippi Historically Black Colleges and Universities: “WE STAND UNITED”

Many of you know that in the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, five of our Mississippi Historically Black Colleges and Universities received an unsubstantiated bomb threat to our campus. Once the threat was received, we each worked with our Department of Public Safety and local emergency response personnel to thoroughly investigate and determine the extent of the threat. Subsequently, law enforcement officials cleared all campuses. The fact that these threats came on the first day as we celebrate Black History Month was intentional in its attempt to disrupt, invoke fear and discourage our faculty, staff, scholars, and the university community.

As Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, WE STAND UNITED! We are committed to ensuring each university’s continued growth and success. Mississippi’s HBCUs have long served our state and nation as educational beacons and have been a critical engine of life-changing opportunities for thousands of graduates and current students. We are proud institutions of higher learning with remarkable histories and have made significant contributions to our state, nation and broader society.

Collectively, we will remain strong and resilient and not be intimidated and fearful. The threats we received along with several other HBCUs across the country show the need for us to continue to support each other and further the dialogue regarding our past, present, and future importance to our nation’s economy and landscape.

Now, we ask all of you, citizens of our great state, alumni, and friends of our institutions, to stand with us. Regardless of whether you attended one of our colleges or universities or not, we must all stand together against this act of intolerance and other forms of hatred.

Felicia M. Nave, Ph.D.
President – Alcorn State University

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.
President – Jackson State University

Jerryl Briggs, Ed.D.
President – Mississippi Valley State University

Ivy R. Taylor, Ed. D.
President – Rust College

Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D.
President – Tougaloo College

Valmadge T. Towner, Ph.D.
President – Coahoma Community College

Stephen Vacik, Ed.D.
President – Hinds Community College, Utica


Marquise L. Kessee
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Fountain Hall, Rm 226D
Jamille Hartfield
Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Fountain Hall 226C