Caring for Students in our Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Mr. Richard Gibson Jr.

Mr. Richard Gibson Jr.


Thank you to everyone in the Student Caring Community who have been following,
contributing and sharing our work all over the world!

In this podcast we are honored to interview Mr. Richard Gibson Jr. 

  • His is: An alumnus of Florida A & M University
  • An entrepreneur in on-line business, wholesale apparel and catering.
  • Co-Founder (With his son, Garrick) of “The HBCU Lifestyle Blog” (An exceptional resource for college students.)

STUDENT CARING: The family-run web site was inspired by sending their son & grandson to college. Their intent is to bring students, alumni, and the community together in preserving the HBCU tradition.

Richard, we are honored to speak with you today, thank you for joining us. To begin, here is a quote from your website:
H.B.C.U. || Student Caring

RICHARD: Yes, indeed. It is a quote from Oprah Winfrey’s speech to the graduating class of Spelman College last year.

We are part of a generation that has benefited from the inspiration that our fore-parents have given us.
In this day’s generation, it’s easy to forget from whence you came.

Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell

Song Lyrics for “We Are”
From Lessons by Y.M. Barnwell ©1993

For each child that’s born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.
We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of God.

We are
Mothers of courage
Fathers of time
Daughters of dust
Sons of great vision.
We are
Sisters of mercy
Brothers of love
Lovers of life and
the builders of nations.
We are
Seekers of truth
Keepers of faith
Makers of peace and
the wisdom of ages.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.
We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of God.

For each child that’s born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are.

WE ARE ONE.

STUDENT CARING: What were the challenges for HBCU students in the past and what are they today?
RICHARD: I get to see kids before they go off to college and I can tell you that:
  • Unfortunately a lot of our people are not prepared, fully to go to college. The preparation is not as strong as it was back-in-the-day when I was there where our teachers exhorted us. They really pushed the whole piece of our getting an education. They are not prepared to take on the riggers of a college life.
  • The second challenge is financing a college education. A large number of students at the HBCU’s are dependent on the PELL GRANT. This is unfortunate, because many of them are struggling financially to just “Stay in College.”
  • The third challenge is to find a job once they graduate.

Our teachers were much more rigorous in making sure we were prepared to go to college. You see a different attitude about education today from back then, so consequently, the drive, the love, is not as strong as back in the day that I came from.

In the late 60’s we were in the middle of the revolution. Those things propelled us to think about what we were doing. Our teachers were more focused on getting us the best education. Those teachers were dedicated!

STUDENT CARING:  What can we as professors, do to help today’s students?

RICHARD:  I think the best thing you can do is re-connect the students with today’s world. I find that a lot of students are more concerned with “stuff.” Students are disconnected from the world of reality. The first five minutes of each class, the professors might just talk an issue that is going on in the world. Connect them.

STUDENT CARING: A former student told me: “I am amazed at how many movies my fellow students can watch in a semester.”

RICHARD: There has to be a sense of purpose and drive.

STUDENT CARING: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Student Caring Community?

RICHARD: We need young people to become involved with mental health issues. We want them to be involved in the world, not just social media. I hope that you, through your website, and similar kinds of media, you can inspire young people to get involved and stay involved to make meaningful changes in this world. So that you can look back and say “Gee, we made an important historic mark on the world, we really made a difference.”

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This episode was recorded on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.

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Student Caring on Stitcher Radio

Student Caring on Stitcher Radio

Why Your Opinion Matters: 

Our upcoming book:The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching, was written with feedback from many educators and students, which was our plan all along. We began by outlining our thoughts on a series of topics, then we recorded them to share with the world. From the feedback we received, we were informed about the needs of the student caring community. We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David