HBCUs

Miamian favored by FAMU football team to be next permanent FAMU head football coach

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As a surprise to no one, Florida A&M University head football coach Alex Wood will not return to lead the football program next season. Wood resigned a couple of days after a loss to Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic. Although FAMU holds a tremendous lead in the series matchup, 49-22-1, this year would be the seventh consecutive loss to BCU.

It is understood that there are two games a FAMU football coach must win each year for job security — Homecoming and the Florida Classic. A FAMU coach could probably go 2-9 and get less grief from FAMU fans if those two wins are Homecoming and the Florida Classic. If the truth be told, considering the Homecoming and Florida Classic losses under Coach Wood’s tenure, the FAMU fans were much kinder to Wood than they were to some of his predecessors. I’m not justifying that position but it is what it is.

To those of us alums not directly involved with the FAMU football program, Coach Wood seemed to be a nice guy. He was close to winning several games this season but it didn’t happen for him and the team. When a new coach replaces all of the previous staff except one person, FAMU fans expect a winning season quickly. Wood might have accomplished that with the opportunity to coach the team another season but that was not to be.

FAMU offensive line coach Edwin Pata was named interim head coach by outgoing athletic director Milton Overton who has taken the athletic director position at Kennesaw State. Overton will be succeeded by interim athletic director John Eason.

Pata is that only person from the previous coaching staff that Wood did not replace. Pata has coached at FAMU for five years and earned his masters degree in sports management from FAMU. The FAMU football team has already let it be known that they want Coach Pata as the permanent head football coach. They’ve even started a hashtag on social media — #NoOneButCoachPata.

Edwin Pata is a graduate of North Miami High School where he earned honors on the gridiron as an All-State tight end. He earned his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and played football under Coach Bobby Bowden. Pata was very complimentary of Coach Wood’s progress with the program. Pata could be that person to make the program a winner again.

In the meantime, a nine-person search committee for the FAMU head football coach has been established. The committee members are: interim Athletic Director John Eason, former FAMU trustee Spurgeon McWilliams, FAMU National Alumni Association President Lt. Col. Gregory Clark, Rattler Boosters Treasurer Selvin Cobb, FAMU professor Ebenezer Oriaku, FAMU linebacker Elijah Richardson, 220 Quarterback Club President Eddie Jackson, SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud and FAMU’s director of track and field Darlene Moore. Although the need for a Committee is questionable, it would really be great if the search committee included FAMUans from South Florida who are not current FAMU employees. 

It has been stated that there is no timeline for selecting the head coach but that interim status does impact recruiting. Dr. Larry Robinson was named permanent president of FAMU today. The selections to fill the interim athletic director and head football coach positions should not be rushed but should be filled as quickly as possible for the sake of program stability.

Let’s Go, Rattlers! 

 

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 @vanessawbyers

 

Related Link: Watch it: Edwin Pata introduced as FAMU's interim head football coach

 

 

 


Oakwood University Crowned Champion at 28th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

 


-Oakwood University awarded $75,000 institutional grant from Honda


-Bowie State University, Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University rounded out the top four teams


-Robert Batten, Dean of Bowie State University, named Coach of the Year

HCASC 2017 Oakwood


TORRANCE, Calif., April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After twenty rounds of intense competition, Oakwood University was crowned the 28th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament (NCT) champion on Monday, April 10, taking home the championship trophy and earning a grant of $75,000 for their HBCU. The four-student team demonstrated its academic prowess by quickly and accurately answering questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture. Oakwood University was one of 48 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams that qualified for the NCT by competing in a series of regional competitions on campus throughout the academic year.

A packed studio audience filled with HBCU students, school presidents, alumni, volunteers, fans and Honda associates watched as Oakwood University clinched the title over runner-up Bowie State University. This is the third time Oakwood University has won the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.

Coached by Dr. Rennae Elliott, the winning team included Caleb Briggs, Olivia Campbell, Joshua Nwaoha and team captain, Sesly Huerfano.

"I've seen firsthand how the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge changes students' lives by building their confidence and giving them a place to belong on campus," said Dr. Rennae Elliott. "We have a whole network of people back home and across campus who have supported us throughout the tournament; it truly has been a team effort." 

Runner-up Bowie State University earned a $30,000 grant, while the third and fourth-place finishers – Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University – earned $20,000 each.

"Honda congratulates Oakwood University on their exciting achievement in the National Championship Tournament, and we applaud all of the students who participated in this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge program," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "HCASC is made possible each year through the efforts of the many volunteers and we extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers who helped make this annual tournament a success."

In addition to honoring the top four teams, Honda recognized outstanding individuals who have made an impact during this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. Robert Batten, 11-year HCASC coach and Dean of Bowie State University, was named Coach of the Year. Danian Medearis of North Carolina Central University was selected by fellow HCASC players to receive this year's Ernest C. Jones Sportsperson Award. Named for one of HCASC's early volunteers who mentored students in the program, the award recognizes a student who epitomizes team spirit, camaraderie, good sportsmanship and academic focus.

Honda established the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge in 1989 as a way to highlight and recognize the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for books and tuition, scholarships, enhancement of student programs and other investments to improve campus facilities. This year's journey to the championship began in the fall, with 89 HBCUs competing for a spot in the finals. Nearly 100 volunteers, including Honda associates, helped produce the 2017 National Championship Tournament, hosting the students, conducting registration and serving as game officials.

For photos, videos and more information about the 2017 HCASC competition, including a full list of the 48 teams that qualified, visit HCASC.com. Connect with HCASC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the conversation using #HCASC.


 HBCU ALUMNI, STUDENTS TO RALLY ON CAPTIOL HILL

 

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Call for direct-action from HBCU supporters to urge Congress for resources

WASHINGTON, DC -  Concerned alumni, students and friends of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are set to gather on Capitol Hill on April 27 for a National Day of Action to increase support for black institutions of higher learning.

The direct-action was organized to ensure accountability by the White House and members of Congress to not only maintain funding, but increase resources to HBCUs – pillar institutions to educating and supporting thousands.

The HBCU National Day of Action is organized by the HBCU Collective, a group of alumni, students and friends of HBCUs who work in politics and advocacy and are determined to preserve, support and grow HBCUs.

“Alumni and students play an integral role in preserving and growing our HBCUs,” said co-leader of the HBCU Collective Robert Stephens. “We’re here to make sure our elected officials see and feel the importance of HBCUs – and we’re here to hold them accountable for their support.”

On April 27, the HBCU Collective expects to galvanize support from more than 100 HBCUs across the nation on Capitol Hill to advocate to their members of Congress. And engage thousands through an online and social media based outreach to urge them to call, write and tweet their federal and state elected officials to make HBCUs a priority in state legislative sessions and in Congress.
 
The HBCU Collective has three asks from state and federal elected officials:
  • Increase financial support for students
  • Increase access and funding for federal research grants
  • Increase funding and assistance for facility upgrades
“We care about the existence of our institutions and we are going to make sure elected officials do exactly what they promised, and that is to support our HBCUs and their students financially,” said Dominique Warren, co-leader of the HBCU Collective.

HBCU Collective plans to host meetings with elected officials and staff members in their home districts and in the districts of HBCUs to make allocating funding and resources a priority during this Congressional session, and every session in the future.
 

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree by Bethune-Cookman University

Rep. Wilson hooded at BCU Graduation

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Congresswoman S. Wilson (FL-24), was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) for her contributions to society and commitment to service at the BCU fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 10, 2016, in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center in Daytona Beach.  The degree was presented by BCU President Dr. Edison O. Jackson, and Board of Trustees Chairperson Dr. Joe Petrock.

Wilson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Fisk University, a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Miami, and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Florida Memorial University.

 

 


EBONY Magazine’s September 2016 Fashion Issue Features Alicia Keys -- Unfiltered, Lupita Nyong’o, Beauty Award Winners and HBCU Campus Queens

 

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CHICAGO —Alicia Keys tells EBONY she doesn’t believe in being “flawless,” yet on the set of the September Issue shoot, the 15-time Grammy® Award-winning music artist, philanthropist and judge on the new season of NBC’s The Voice proves she’s still a girl on fire. The fresh-faced star posed perfectly in futuristic attire while maintaining her dedication to the #nomakeup movement.

In an exclusive interview, the incomparable entertainer updates us on her upcoming and highly anticipated album. In addition to giving us insight into her career moves, she holds court on an assortment of hot-button topics, including raising Black boys in the era of #BlackLivesMatter. 

“We are at a tipping point for major change. Senseless killings are outrageous and unacceptable. It’s like a slap in the face. It’s a constant reminder that our lives—our Black lives—are literally meaningless,” Keys tells the writer.

She also talks about self-confidence and the cruelty of social media.  Her viewpoints are especially relevant as Twitter trolls attack the #blackgirlmagic of Olympians Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Simone Manuel.

“Alicia Keys is one of the artists I respect most because of her dedication to social justice and desire to go beyond lip service to make the world a better place,” says Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles. “Her commentary on race, class and gender were illuminating, and she shared some sentiments with us that you will see few other places.”

The issue also reveals the winners of EBONY's annual Beauty Awards and trendsetting tips from “It”-girl group Chole x Halle. Look out for coverage of actress Lupita Nyong’o, hip-hop icons De La Soul and the multitalented Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. And this edition would not be complete without one of EBONY’s favorite time-honored traditions, the HBCU Campus Queens. Over 50 lovely, talented and community-oriented young ladies who represent historically Black colleges and universities across the country are highlighted.  Check out the September issue on newsstands now, and visit EBONY.com for behind-the-scenes videos. Join the conversation on social media via #AliciaOnEbony

 

 


Wilberforce University Announces New President

 

Long-Standing HBCU Fund-Raiser/Administrator, Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr., becomes the University's 21st President

HFeltonWILBERFORCE, Ohio, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wilberforce University, the country's oldest private historically black college and university, today revealed that Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr has been chosen as its 21st President. With the hiring of Dr. Felton, Wilberforce University enters into a bright new era that promises to build on its 160 year legacy of developing great leaders.  "Dr. Felton's experience in day-to-day operations, and his proven leadership abilities in multiple areas including, fund raising made him a top candidate for this position," says Mark Wilson, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Our search committee comprised of leaders across our faculty and alumni, were thrilled to get a chance to meet with Dr. Felton for the second time in this process.  He was highly regarded by our students, staff, and faculty during our last search, and we look forward to him joining us on campus in the coming weeks." 

Before joining Wilberforce University, Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr. was the senior vice president, COO and vice president of institutional advancement at Livingstone College where he provided executive level leadership in the areas of strategic planning, fund raising, management, administration and assessment while overseeing all day-to-day operations for the college.  During his time at Livingstone, Dr. Felton also increased annual alumni contributions from seven to 19 percent in three years, in addition to serving on the school's executive committee for its accreditation process. Prior to Livingstone College, Dr. Felton was the director of development at Murray State University. A Co-Founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, Dr. Felton is committed to ensuring our nations HBCUs identify and cultivate the next pipeline of highly skilled, transformational, and principled leaders to lead.  Dr. Felton received his Juris Doctor from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, and his bachelor's degree in political science from Edward Waters College.  Dr. Felton also served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years.

"I'm looking forward to joining the Wilberforce community.  It is an honor that the oldest private HBCU in the country has chosen me to lead them into a new era," states Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr. president of Wilberforce University.  "Over the last two years, I have seen the dedication of all who love and cherish this great university. From the students, faculty and staff, to the ever supportive alumni, what this community has accomplished over the last two years is commendable. I know that with the determination and spirit I've seen, we will continue to lead this University into a rewarding future." 

About Wilberforce University
Wilberforce University was founded in 1856 on a relatively radical principle for mid-19th Century America: to provide African-Americans, many who were fleeing slavery, with a quality, advanced education. It was a progressive concept that has evolved to inspire its current students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Known today as the first predominantly African-American private university in the nation, it welcomes students of all faiths, races, colors, and national and ethnic origins. The school is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church as well as many collegiate organizations and associations, including the United Negro College Fund. For more information, visit www.wilberforce.edu


 

South Florida Spelman College Alumnae Honor Educators 6/12

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The South Florida Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (SFC-NAASC), a 501(c)(3) organization will celebrate Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County community leaders at their annual  All That Jazz, the scholarship fundraiser: 

  • Dr. Dorothy Bendross Mindingall, Vice Chair of Miami-Dade County School Board
  • Robert W. Runcie, Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools
  • Noble Lockhart-Mays, Founder and Executive Director of Faith’s Place Centers

and Spelman alumnae working in the field of education, making a difference in the South Florida community.

 

WHEN

Sunday, June 12, 2016 

3:00 PM to 6:30 PM (EDT) 

 

WHERE

Adena Grill at The Village at Gulfstream Park

900 Silks Run #1740

Hallandale Beach, FL 33009 

 

Purchase tickets online at Eventbrite

For more information about All That Jazz event, email spelman.allthatjazz@gmail.com

 

 


Bennett Students Travel Abroad To Gain Global Experiences

Joy Angbo
Joy Angbo, a business major from Brooklyn, in Nicosia, Cyprus. Angbo is participating in a Bennett College Study Abroad Program.

 

GREENSBORO, NC —  This semester, five Bennett College are studying abroad in countries such as Nicosia, Cyprus; London, England; and Zanzibar, Tanzania. These students say that they have been able to gain insight into their passion, develop a greater appreciation of other cultures and begin an effort to build an international network for the future.

Olivia Leaven is in her junior year at Bennett and is paying for her study abroad expenses as a Robert Kantor Scholar.  She is enrolled in the School for International Training (SIT)  Study Abroad Program in Tanzania, conducting research with a focus on coastal ecology, natural resource management, and sustainable development. The biology major and international affairs minor wants to help indigenous groups grow healthy crops that will ultimately result in reduced incidents of diabetes and high blood pressure.  She wants to create and manage a non-governmental organization that acts as an ombudsman between indigenous and underrepresented communities encouraging self-sufficiency.

Iso Leaven is passionate about making sure underrepresented communities have healthy foods.   As a student, she is currently working on establishing SanKofa Sprouts in Greensboro. Sankofa is a word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates as “reach back and get it.”

“SIT is like a beacon of light that directs me to my goals,” said Leaven.

Chelsea Moore is a junior, journalism and media studies major from Nashville, Tennessee who is studying in Nicosia, Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean. Moore says, her experience thus far has been life changing. "I've grown in so many aspects and I can now say I'm able to adapt anywhere!" 

Students often wonder are they allowed to travel to other countries while studying abroad. 

"What I'm enjoying most about my time here in Europe is the ability to travel to various countries inexpensively."

Jaiza Wesley is a junior, psychology major- Sociology minor from Olympia, Washington, who is studying in Nicosia, Cyprus, the largest city on the island of Cyprus, a part of the European Union. Her favorite course that she is taking at the University of Nicosia is “Culture and Psychology” where she is learning how important it is to take into consideration people’s culture, not only when counseling, but in everyday life.

Wesley says, “I recommend studying abroad to all students; this experience has changed my perspective on how to view the world. I believe it is important to meet and interact with people of different cultures. Take advantage of the opportunity!”

Often, students want to study abroad, but don’t know where to start. Every semester there is an Academic Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES) program available to all students at Bennett College where study abroad students share their travel experiences.

Ms. Lee Todhunter, Interim Director, for the Center for Global Studies, said, “The only restrictions for students wishing to study abroad is that they cannot be freshwoman or in their final semester of studies. Also, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required, although some programs require higher, and students must be in good academic standing.”

The Center for Global Studies is created to help students who have inquiries about studying abroad, where to start and how to apply.

Todhunter said, “The center for Global Studies has also made an effort to partner with those who provide cost effective programs that match Bennett’s cost of attendance, including programs to countries such as Cyprus and Costa Rica and to help students identify a program that offers courses they can take for credit and one that they can also afford.”

Joy Angbo, a junior business administration major and management minor from Brooklyn, New York, is also studying at the University of Nicosia. She is enjoying the course she is taking in Corporate Finance where she is learning how to make investments. This experience is an eye-opener for Angbo since it is her first time being out of the country for an extended period.

“I can’t wait to be back at Bennett to share with my Bennett sisters my full story of this beautiful opportunity,” said Angbo. 

Kiara Mills, junior journalism and media studies major from Willingboro, New Jersey, is currently studying at London South Bank University in London, England. The program has provided her with insight on how people in different parts of the world experience an education. She is taking Professional Writing; and Cultural Memory, and American Cinema courses.

 


Bennett College hosts conference focused on brand management and sustainability of HBCUs

  Bennett College hosts conference

GREENSBORO, NC — The spring 2016 HBCUgrow LEAD Conference, on the campus of Bennett College, featured North Carolina Senator Gladys Robinson, who spoke about the many faces of Jim Crow and how HBCUs can thrive in the 2016 political landscape. “Jim Crow has many faces, not only police brutality but injustice at the levels that denies food stamps for the hungry, housing for the homeless and access to higher education for our young people,” said Robinson.  The senator also highlighted several ways that HBCUs can sustain their momentum.  She encouraged HBCU leaders to focus on fundraising, sustainable endowments and achieving strong alumni giving.  She ended her address by issuing a challenge to the audience. “I encourage you to remember how you felt when you got that baccalaureate degree from an HBCU, and then I want you to go out and lift your hands and voices so that students that attend HBCUs can feel the same way,” she said.

The conference was designed to provide HBCUs with best practices in attracting prospective students, talented faculty, and donors.  Also, the conference recognized excellence at HBCUs. The HBCUgrow  2016 Gold Award winners were:  Shaw University for LEAD website,” Florida A&M University for LEAD marketing and the President of Shaw University, Tashni-Ann Dubroy for the “Best Leadership.”

Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall delivered the keynote address for the luncheon dispelling the notion that higher education is no longer the key to opportunity. “Americans are being constantly told that we are weighing students down with excessive debt, they can’t graduate timely, and we don’t really need that many people that are well educated -- we just need a few people with a few certifications to do certain things.  We know that this is not the case,” said Fuse-Hall.”  She also discussed the importance of student enrollment, fiscal stability, fundraising, budgeting, leveraging facilities, and having a better understanding of the dynamics of governing boards.

HBCUgrow is a consortium dedicated to helping HBCUs grow enrollment and alumni giving, and tackle the changing landscape of marketing challenges. HBCUgrow helps by offering a community of like-minded professionals sharing knowledge and inspiring HBCUs to grow. The group organizes conferences and events on topics such as enrollment management, alumni engagement, and marketing. To learn more, visit www.hbcugrow.com or join the HBCUgrow group on LinkedIn.

College Presidents
College leaders attending the HBCUgrow LEAD Conference were (left to right): and President of Shaw University Tashni-Ann Dubroy; Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall; Dr. Debra Saunders-White, chancellor at North Carolina Central University; and Dr. Larry Czarda, president at Greensboro College.

 

Participants
From left to right are: Jeanne Frazer, president of Vitalink, one of the Founding Partners of HBCUgrow; Anthony Brooks, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Shaw University; N.C. Senator Gladys Robinson; Bennett College Senior Cymone Baker; David Hoard, president of DHT & Associates and an HBCUgrow Advisory Board member; Audrey Franklin, executive director of Alumnae Relations at Bennett College; and Dr. Kim Long, associate provost for Administration at Wiley College.

 


More than $30,000 raised at Albany State University scholarship celebration in Atlanta

 

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Greg Hylick, ASU alumnus and president of the ASU Foundation, (right) receives an original painting by artist Leroy Campbell (left) after bidding $4,000 during a live auction at Saturday’s “Party with a Purpose” benefit in Atlanta. Photo: Reginald Christian

 


ALBANY, Ga
. – A lively and energetic atmosphere proved to be the best setting for raising funds for student scholarships. Albany State University alumni and supporters raised $30,600 for need-based scholarships at Saturday’s “Party with a Purpose” benefit held at the prestigious Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta. 

“This is a proud day for ASU,” President Art Dunning said to a group of nearly 160 alumni and supporters. “The future of the university depends on the people in this room.”

The event, held in collaboration with the Tom Joyner Foundation, was the first of many university initiatives for the Tom Joyner School of the Month campaign. As the November School of the Month, the TJF will promote raising funds for the university and highlight its programs for the entire year. ASU will be featured daily during the month of November. 

During the live auction, Greg Hylick, president of the ASU Foundation, made a successful bid of $4,000 on an exclusive Leroy Campbell original painting. Dunning and first-lady Karen Baynes-Dunning were so inspired, they committed another $4,000 to support need-based scholarships. A silent auction that featured original artwork by ASU students was also a great success, with many of the pieces earning more than $100 bids. 

“Much like the band’s performance in Pasadena, the student artwork was just another shining example of how talented ASU students are,” said Chanta Haywood, ASU vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the ASU Foundation. “They need our support to nurture that talent so that they may graduate and inspire future generations.”

Co-hosts, television actress JoMarie Payton and the Honorable Glenda Hatchett, Atlanta attorney and star of the former “Judge Hatchett” television show, helped to reinforce the importance of giving by making donations of their own.

After hearing about the upcoming groundbreaking for the ASU Fine Arts Center, Payton wrote a check for $500 toward fine arts scholarships.

“The young people that we support with our donations are the biggest investment we can make in our lives,” said Payton, a native Albanian.

“We don’t want to look back and say we wish we would have done a little more,” said Hatchett, who served as the 2014 Spring Commencement speaker at Albany State. “We are claiming extraordinary things for ASU. We have work to do, and it’s on our collective shoulders to get it done.”

Fitting the occasion, a $2,500 scholarship was presented to social work major, Debra Rucks. The inaugural scholarship is part of the $25,000 endowment by Virginia Harris and family, in honor of her husband, Keith Harris.

“Ms. Rucks will likely graduate on time and begin helping her community as a result of this generous donation,” Haywood said. “All donations matter, no matter the size. Collectively, small amounts add up to make large differences and that's something to celebrate.”

“Party with a Purpose” was the first event in ASU’s “Week of Giving” initiative, which began Saturday, March 26 and will culminate on Founder’s Day, Friday, April 1. The “Week of Giving” is an invitation to students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends to give back through donations and personal involvement. To make a donation, visit giveto.asurams.edu. 

Photo caption: Greg Hylick, ASU alumnus and president of the ASU Foundation, (right) receives an original painting by artist Leroy Campbell  (left) after bidding $4,000 during a live auction at Saturday’s “Party with a Purpose” benefit in Atlanta. Photo credit: Reginald Christian