Oprah has been steadfast in her support of HBCU’s and education for all of Blacks, and minorities. On September 28th, Oprah made another generous monetary donation to education. She decided to donate $1.15 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) according to The Charlotte Observer.
The 17th annual Maya Angelou’s Women Who Lead Luncheon in Charlotte, North Carolina was the event that Oprah was attending when she made the donation. Winfrey stressed the importance of educating our youth, and the importance of programs that provide scholarships to those who are not as fortunate to be able to pay for college, or other higher education.
“I believe in the power of education,” she said. “There is nothing better than to open the door for someone.” UNCF raised $2.3 million in scholarship funds after Winfrey matched its initial $1.15 million that afternoon. The scholarships aid students within the area with hopes of attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Oprah’s generous gift comes in the week following Robert F. Smith, and the announcement to extend his Morehouse College debt plan to all of the parents of those students in the graduating class. During his speech, he stated that he hoped his actions would inspire others to come forward and sponsor education, while also hoping that the very kids in the class he ensured left college debt-free, would pay it forward when they are able to someday.
Entering the workforce with a college education, and debt-free will serve as a natural social experiment that Smith and other economists plan to study closely, to see what doors of financial freedom may be opened to those fortunate students.
In a report published by Forbes, it reports the student-debt crisis has reached mind-blowing $1.5 trillion. The figure has been a subject of observation by presidential candidates, specifically Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who proposed legislation to drastically lower that number.
Billionaires are doing their part, but it’ll take a collective effort from the government, and far more parties to put a cap on the ever-growing issue of student debt.