October 1, 2020

Good afternoon,

I hope this email finds you and your family well. Today and tomorrow, the United Negro College Fund and its member presidents are conducting their annual meeting.

On this occasion, I delivered the invocation below to open the meeting of our member presidents and UNCF staff. I believe it captures the meaning of who we are and the importance of HBCUs.

Be well. Keep the faith.

In service,
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College

Good morning member presidents, Dr. Lomax and all of the UNCF staff.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Dear Lord, we call on you to be with us during our meetings and deliberations.

We invite you to find a place in our hearts, to inspire us, to lead us to the wisdom we need, to make decisions that will transform the lives of tens of thousands of young Black women and men and their families who depend on us for the light of hope and possibility in a very dark time.

This a strange and dark time, a time of deep and dangerous divides.

Outside of our rooms, Dear Lord, you have awakened a sleeping nation to injustices, and shined a light on long-standing wrongs so that those who wish, can see.

May you give them, in the words of Lorraine Hansberry, "sighted eyes and feeling heart."

This is a strange and unfamiliar time when, all around us, leadership at the very highest levels of our nation falters.

But leadership, Dear God, is exactly what the times need. And you have tasked each and every one of us with being leaders.

May you give us the power to claim our courage.

This is a strange and painful time, when plague stalks us at every turn.

And you have placed in our hands for safekeeping the very institutions that fortify and protect our children and their families during these terrible times.

As storms rage, you have instructed us to build a mighty ark that heads toward a new day.

As storms rage, we know that you are close to us to give us strength, to help us remember the words of encouragement of the apostle Paul to the Galatians:

"Let us not grow weary in doing good, in doing what is right, for we shall reap a harvest if we do not lose heart."

And we are grateful.

Let me hear you say, Amen.

Office of the President
Phone: 404-270-5001

Fax: 404-270-5010

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