Community building

Spotlighting leading voices from Historically Black Colleges & Universities

Written by Team Nextdoor

Campaign underscores the importance of connection and community for Black college students

Established to serve the educational needs of Black Americans when segregation was legal, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue to be the epicenter of the Black experience in America creating an unparalleled sense of community, heritage and identity for students. While HBCUs make up only three percent of the country’s colleges and universities, they produce almost 20 percent of all Black graduates. Their impact has never been more important.

Through a partnership with award-winning journalist Roland Martin for his daily digital show #RolandMartinUnfiltered we spotlighted the next generation of HBCU student leaders for the HBCU Connect segment to highlight what issues are important to them and how they’re leveraging Nextdoor for a variety of uses amongst their peers and involvement within the community.  

The students participating in the HBCU Connect segments truly are the bright minds that we can look towards in the future to help reshape neighborhoods across the globe.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the in-person collegiate experience for many students, this did not slow them down from being involved in their community. There were students that tapped into what many HBCUs hold as their core value; “being of service to your community.” In this case, to provide PPE to community members to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus.    

Without a doubt, students are eager to get back to campus and connect with their peers. At Tennessee State University, Student Government Association President, Derrick Sanders, will be returning to his campus family this fall to continue using Nextdoor to share resources amongst his peers and inform the surrounding North Nashville neighborhood about the great things happening around the university. 

For those students starting their HBCU experience this fall, navigating a large campus community can be a daunting task, but for Omari Wands, a student at Clark Atlanta University, he utilized Nextdoor to learn the surrounding community upon arriving at the Atlanta based university from New York.

At Texas Southern University students will find the Nextdoor platform being used to communicate available resources to help them acclimate to the community and finding the one thing that all college students love and crave, “free stuff”, as stated by Dexter Maryland. 

Despite the excitement that comes with collegiate life, there are also moments of reality that set in as part of the real world experience. Timothy Bridgeman, at Tougaloo College would share with fellow students that the Nextdoor app offers information like HIV and other health screenings that occur on campus, to help students take initiative over their health. It is great to see that the Nextdoor app can help students tackle real world issues by being well-informed of resources that are available to them on campus.  

The HBCU experience not only resonates with those enrolled at the institution, but also the greater community in which they are located. Community members look proudly upon the students for breaking barriers and also enjoy the many festivities that create the rich tradition and culture of the HBCU experience, such as homecoming and other broader community centered events.  As HBCUs continue to attract, groom, and produce the Black leaders of tomorrow, Nextdoor stands ready to provide them with a platform to enhance their collegiate experience amongst their peers and their community. 

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