In recent years, Cheyney University has had some major problems. Fortunately, though, Heeding Cheyney’s Call (HCC) was formed in 2013 and immediately began urgent negotiations with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to “save and enhance” the oldest Black institution of higher learning in America. When the Commonwealth failed to comply with HCC’S reasonable demands, HCC was compelled to end the negotiations and filed a major federal civil rights lawsuit, on October 29, 2014.
HCC’s Negotiation/Litigation Team consists of Dr. Earl S. Richardson– a nationally renowned expert on discrimination in higher education who served as President of Morgan State University for more than a quarter century, attorney Pace J. McConkie– the Director of the preeminent Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights, and attorney Joe H. Tucker– the head of The Tucker Law Group, which is the largest and most prominent Black law firm on the East Coast. Also included on HCC’s Negotiation/Litigation Team are Junious R. Stanton– immediate past President of the National Alumni Association, Professor E. Sonny Harris– former Campus Faculty Union President, and attorney Michael Coard– former Council of Trustees Member and Student Government Officer.
As a result of the group’s successful arguments in the ongoing lawsuit, a federal judge signed an order a few weeks ago requiring the Commonwealth and HCC to engage in serious and productive settlement discussions to resolve the meritorious legal claims raised in HCC’s lawsuit.
Coard’s battle cry “The Rebirth of Cheyney: Bigger, Better and Blacker” has caused angst among some alumni and other friends of Cheyney. Just this past week, the presidents of Cheyney and West Chester universities announced a collaboration between the two members of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that brought fear to some because they have long-believed that West Chester has wanted to “take over” Cheyney University. However, this is just one of several collaborations among PASSHE schools and the actual details of the collaboration have not been finalized or announced.
Unfortunately, rumors are rampant about what is happening at and with Cheyney University. A lot has happened and is still happening in this legal battle to “save and enhance” Cheyney. In order to set the record straight about what’s really going on, ano get valuable input from the Cheyney family, Heeding Cheyney’s Call has scheduled a public meeting on Wednesday, July 15, at 6:30 pm at Zion Baptist Church, 3600 North Broad Street (Google Maps) to explain everything about the lawsuit, the rumors, the Framework, and the strategies.
Everyone interested in the survival and enhancement of Cheyney University is encouraged to attend to raise questions and learn first-hand what is happening with the law suit, PASSHE and the legacy of the nation’s first institution of higher education for African Americans.
For additional information, log onto HeedingCheyneysCall.org, the Facebook page at Heeding Cheyney’s Call, the Twitter page at @HeedingCheyneys, and the Instagram page at heedingcheyneyscall1 or call 215-552-8714.