Lexington Park, MD – The St. Mary’s County NAACP, #7025 in partnership with St. Mary’s County Public Schools & St. Mary’s County Library virtually presents The 9th Annual Southern Maryland HBCU College & Career Fair featuring Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and local colleges and career organizations.

The virtual event is free and will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021, from 9 am – 4 pm.

Students must register to attend at https://stmarysnaacp.org/college-career-fair

The students will meet recruiters from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the College of Southern Maryland. Talk with career representatives in the fields of law enforcement, education, military, merchant marines, trades & energy, entrepreneurship, and more. They will attend presentations and join in panel discussions that focus on preparing for college and careers.

HBCUs are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to primarily serve the African-American community. Most of them were founded in the years after the American Civil War and are concentrated in the Southern United States.

During the period of segregation in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act, the overwhelming majority of higher education institutions were predominantly white and disqualified or limited African-American enrollment. For a century after the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, most colleges and universities in the southern states prohibited all African Americans from attending, while institutions in other parts of the country regularly set quotas to limit admissions for them. HBCUs were needed to give opportunities to African Americans especially in the South.

Dr. Janice Talbert Walthour, NAACP education committee chair, attended segregated schools in St. Mary’s County and a graduate of Morgan State University states that “Many of the African American students coming from this rural segregated system were highly encouraged to apply to Bowie State, Coppin State, Morgan State and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. These are the HBCUs here in Maryland. At that time, most who applied were accepted, nurtured, and given world-class opportunities to succeed and become leaders in their communities, states, our country, and the world.”

Adrianne Dillahunt chair of the HBCU Fair states that “Our goal is to provide information to students about diverse, accessible, and affordable post-secondary education options that may lead to equal opportunities for achieving economic success, sustainability, and financial security.”

This event has been very successful thanks to the generosity of businesses, organizations, and community members. We invite schools in the tri-county area and have had hundreds of students in attendance. Recruiters give out on the spot acceptances to colleges and participants have received scholarship funding for thousands of dollars.

The 9th Annual Southern Maryland HBCU College & Career Fair is a community initiative of the Education Committee of The St. Mary’s County NAACP, #7025. For more information on our Education Committee visit: https://stmarysnaacp.org/education

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