Moderator ReShonda Tate (left), TSU’s President Lesia Crumpton-Young and Dr. Rod Paige (right). 

This post was originally published on Defender Network

By Aswad Walker

As part of the Emancipation Park Juneteenth 150 Celebration, commemorating Emancipation Park’s Sesquicentennial (1872 – 2022), the Emancipation Conservancy hosted “Emancipation Conversations: The State of Education and the Role and Importance of HBCUs.”

The event, which was part of the Emancipation Conversations Lecture Series, featured panelists Dr. Roderick Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and Texas Southern University’s President Lesia Crumpton-Young.

The conversation between these two education experts was moderated by ReShonda Tate, managing editor of the Defender Network and award-winning and best-selling author of 53 books, several of which have been made into movies.

Here are excerpts from this recent conversation which took place, aptly, at Emancipation Park (3018 Emancipation Ave. Houston, TX 77004):


DR. CRUMPTON-YOUNG: What I say to people who say you don’t need a degree to be successful is, your college degree is more than just about money. It is about your investment in yourself… When we talk about loans and debt, we go into debt to buy furniture. We go into debt to buy a television. We go into debt to buy cars, to buy homes. We go into debt to buy clothes. We go into debt with our credit cards to buy all types of things. Why do we all of sudden have a big conversation about debt when it’s related to higher education? When higher education, we know, is our platform for elevation. So, I say to everyone else, let’s stop buying into the rhetoric that mainstream America is pushing, because maybe that’s the conspiracy to keep us from being educated. I know everybody’s like, “She talking about conspiracy theories.” I believe that’s what it is. So, we shouldn’t buy into that hype.


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