Lincoln University student leaders speak to historic win of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

OXFORD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Heaven Lassiter, Lincoln University's Miss Orange and Blue, shares in the excitement so many HBCU students and graduates feel after the historic win of one of their own, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

"Oh, we all woke up shouting, praising God that Black women, Black educated women have this opportunity," Lassiter said.

Fellow student leaders say they feel more empowered than ever.

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"They're highlighting our HBCUs and seeing so much more can come from our HBCUs. Now is the time to showcase who we are," Miss Lincoln University Brianna Blake said.

University President Dr. Brenda Allen is Kamala Harris' fellow Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters and also a graduate of Howard University.

"Even though HBCUs make up 3% of all higher education institutions in this country, they produce 20 to 25% of all African American graduates," Allen said.

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Allen says while it's a new day for all HBCUs, here's what many people don't hear:

"It's kind of discouraging to some degree to be in 2020 and still have African Americans hitting these firsts, it's nice to be first. We were the first HBCU," Allen said.

HBCU leaders also hope Harris's victory changes the narrative from many campuses often struggling financially to the fact they continue to produce leaders.

"Sometimes institutions that are struggling are still able to create these amazing people who go on to make such a difference in society," Allen said.

And while Lincoln University's campus may be quiet given the pandemic, many students say it's a new day in HBCU history.

"She shows strength, she shows resiliency, she shows we can come from an HBCU and have all the resources," Senior Brianna Blake said.
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