Podcast #16: The role of Historically Black Colleges & Universities in revitalizing their host neighbourhoods with Moses S Dixon

In this podcast, the first to draw on community development practice in the United States, Russell is joined via Skype by Moses S Dixon, a doctorate student at State University of New York in Binghamton, to discuss the relationship between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their host communities – usually predominantly African-American communities.

In particular, Moses draws on his research experience looking at how HBCUs can play a positive role in neighbourhood revitalization when they successfully engage host communities in their decison-making and planning from the outset; that in turn can generate successful outcomes for the instituions.

However, Moses cautions at how a failure to involve host communities can prove not only damaging to host communities, but also to the institutions’ long-term sustainability, financial health and reputation.

Moses suggests some specific ways in which ‘town-gown’ relationships can be enhanced, the principal one being the creation of a ‘Community Development Corporation’ such as Five Points Historic West End in North Carolina, located near Johnson C. Smith University.

Moses explains briefly the origins of HBCUs in the US, but for a broader overview the documentary Tell Them We Are Rising is essential viewing.

To get in touch with Moses you can email him at mdixon3@binghamton.edu.

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