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Black Leadership Across Campuses (BLAC)

A Joint-Project by CERCL and the Virginia Union University Center for the
Study of HBCUs

While it has always been the case, recent events force recognition of the need for imaginative and creative transformations of higher education.  In so doing, a central aim must be the fostering of leadership across campuses with the capacity, skills, and vision necessary to address the challenges of anti-black racism and other modes of injustice infecting our society.  Long committed to the nurturing of citizens with the critical thinking skills and communication strategies to foster positive social change, we see a need to move beyond this effort on individual campuses and in ways that serve to dismantle the divide between historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly white institutions of higher education (PWIs). 

Black Leadership Across Campuses (BLAC) is meant as an intervention related to this much needed work—serving as a pilot initiative we hope will eventually grow to include a national range of partners.

Mission Statement


Black Leadership Across Campuses (BLAC) seeks to develop and nurture strategies for fostering generations of academic leadership equipped to address issues of justice demanding attention, and to do this in ways that entail collaboration across HBCUs and PWIs.



Black Leadership Across Campuses (BLAC) supports its mission through careful and creative attention to, implementations of, the following goals:

  1. Foster communications across campuses that highlight shared concerns, and that open opportunity for collaboration on key issues;

  2. Produce programming that enhances our understanding of justice-centered academic leadership;

  3. Produce materials that explore key issues and offer innovative insights;

  4. Develop a pipeline of new leaders with the critical thinking skills, effective communication strategies and organizational knowledge needed to advance justice minded institutions.

BLAC will feature sympos each semester by prominent leaders in higher education addressing themes related to our goals and objectives.

BLAC Fall 2022 Symposium @ Rice University
October 28 & 29, 2022

In person & virtual registration opens soon!

The first in a series of conferences addressing a range of themes that explore the mission and cultural world(s) framed by HBCUs.


  Dr. Jason Curry | Fisk University

  Dr. Cecil Duffie | Wiley College

  Dr. Marla Frederick | Emory University

  Dr. Johnny Hill | Hood Theological Seminary

  Dr. Karen Kossie-Chernyshev | TX Southern University

  Dr. Melanye Price | Prairie View University

  Professor Quincy Rineheart | Morehouse College

  Dr. Cleve Tinsley | Virginia Union University

BLAC will feature lectures each semester by prominent leaders in higher education addressing themes related to our goals and objectives.

The inaugural lecture was offered by President Hakim Lucas (Virginia Union University). Dr. Lucas outlined a strategic vision for how HBCUs can aid America in repairing the social, economic and political breaches widening in the foundation of American culture and society. Specifically, he focused on how academicians can participate and benefit. 

Hakim J. Lucas

President & CEO of Virginia Union University

Hakim J. Lucas is the 13th President & CEO of Virginia Union University. He is a strong advocate for student-driven policies and the inclusiveness of students and faculty in developing and implementing the university’s strategic plan. He is also a strong believer in the importance and significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and works to ensure their viable sustainability. With more than two decades of experience in higher education, Dr. Lucas’ success includes fundraising, strategic planning, and the engagement and retention of students in challenging educational experiences.


Dr. Lucas earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in teaching (History) from Tufts University, an Executive MBA from Stetson University, and a Master of Divinity (Church History) from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Fordham University. He is a transcendent leader who has chosen education as his form of advocating for social justice. As such, he is active with several advisory councils and organizations including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Prince Hall Free Masonry, and 100 Black Men. As a leader in the research of HBCUs, Dr. Lucas is the editor-in-chief of a series of publications on HBCUs for Information Age Publishing. He is also a senior research fellow with the Southern Education Foundation. In 2019, his latest book was published titled Not For Ourselves Alone: Legacies of Two Pioneers of Black Higher Education in the United States.

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