Clark Atlanta University partners to create Thomas Dortch Institute

THE NATIONAL COALITION ON BLACK CIVIC PARTICIPATION TO LAUNCH $1 MILLION PARTNERSHIP WITH CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY TO ESTABLISH THE NCBCP THOMAS W. DORTCH, JR. SOUTHERN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP & SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE AND SOUTHERN REGIONAL OFFICE

The Institute will focus on amplifying the NCBCP’s commitment to expand its Black Civic Leadership, Social Justice, Voter Empowerment, Power Building and Entrepreneurship work throughout the South and nationally.

On Saturday, May 15, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) announced its new partnership with Clark Atlanta University (CAU) during the 2021 CAU Commencement Convocation-to establish the NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Southern Civic Engagement, Leadership & Social Justice Institute (NCBCP TWD Social Justice Institute) and Southern Regional Office.

Melanie L. Campbell, NCBCP President & CEO and Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable and Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Chairman of the NCBCP Board of Directors, presented Clark Atlanta University President George French, Jr., Ph.D. with a $ 1 million ($1M) partnership investment during the 2021 CAU Commencement and Convocations, that will serve as the initial funding commitment to establish the NCBCP TWD Social Justice Institute to be anchored at CAU. The institute is supported by Dr. William Pickard, Verizon Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation and the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

The NCBCP TWD Social Justice Institute will focus on civics education, civic engagement, voting rights, racial, economic, gender and social justice policy research, youth civic leadership development, women’s empowerment, Black male initiatives, power building, entrepreneurship and community outreach in the South and nationally. The institute will also provide internships, research assistantships and fellowships annually to undergraduate and graduate students at CAU and other HBCUs in the South, that will focus on voting rights, racial, economic, gender & social issues affecting Black and other communities impacted by systemic/structural racism, inequities and injustice.

“I am overjoyed, and grateful to the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and Mr. Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Chairman of the NCBCP Board of Directors, and member of the Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees for this generous gift and amazing partnership,” said George T. French Jr. Ph.D. “Clark Atlanta University has always been at the forefront of the civil rights and social justice movements. This institute will undoubtedly equip our students with the knowledge needed to be game changing entrepreneurs, political leaders, and policy makers who changed the world.”

The NCBCP is the longest-serving and largest historically Black-led national civil rights, economic & social justice coalition in our nation and has a historic reach in the South, where active and robust state-based affiliates are building and maintaining Black political power. This partnership will expand on the NCBCP’s 45 years of work in the region, helping to implement additional strategic and effective programming, training, issue advocacy, and entrepreneurship in urban and rural Black communities across the South including AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC and VA.

Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO, NCBCP and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, shared the following:

“The National Coalition was founded in May 1976 and we are celebrating the 45th Anniversary throughout 2021. One of our 45th anniversary goals was to expand our work in the South, where over 60 percent of the Black population lives. As we enter a new chapter in our organization’s history, we are delighted to partner with Clark Atlanta University to establish the NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Civic Engagement, Leadership and Social Justice Institute and Southern Regional Office. The institute will provide a unique opportunity to invest in the next generation of civil rights, women’s rights and social justice leadership to continue the fight for racial, economic, gender and social justice that lies ahead.”

NCBCP Chairman of the Board and Clark Atlanta University Trustee, Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. issued the following statement:

“I am elated to have worked with both Melanie Campbell, our President /Ceo and Dr. George French, President of CAU in forging this historic partnership. The NCBCP seeks to expand its imprint and impact in the South and nationally by establishing its Civic Engagement and Social Justice Institute and Southern Regional Office at Clark Atlanta. Concurrently, Clark Atlanta University will continue to be a leader and vital player among the landscape of premier academic institutions that celebrate and continue to continue to provide relevant research and exploration in the Social Justice Space. I am honored to have the Institute named in my honor and the national village of stakeholders who continue to dedicate their lives for equality, equity and social justice.”

About Clark Atlanta University
Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu

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