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HBCU Wrestling And Morgan State Announce New Wrestling Program

Oct 21, 2021

The First-of-its-Kind Program has partnered up with Morgan State University to restore HBCU wrestling programs and expand access to the opportunities created by wrestling for the Black community.

OCTOBER 21, 2021 — Today, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative (HBCUW) announces its launch to restore the sport and invest in the development of Black wrestlers during their formative college years. With support from Galaxy Gives, Black Wrestling Association, National Wrestling Coaches Association, and Goodnation Foundation, HBCUW will reestablish wrestling programs on HBCU campuses, starting with Morgan State University. Over the course of the next five years, HBCUW will launch wrestling programs and begin endowments at six HBCUs with the goal of expanding access to the opportunities created by wrestling for the Black community, expanding the Black community’s footprint and power within the sport, and investing in the critical institutions that HBCUs represent. 

In America there are over one hundred historically Black colleges and universities, yet not one has a Division 1 wrestling program. This lack of access to wrestling opportunities leaves Black high school graduates forced to choose between attending an HBCU or pursuing their wrestling goals. HBCUW seeks to provide Black students with the opportunity to continue their interest in wrestling while pursuing their education at a historically Black institution. Over the next year, HBCUW aims to raise an initial $18m to launch and build endowments for these programs.

 “I am extremely proud to be supporting this initiative as we work to bring wrestling programs to HBCUs across the country. It is a first-of-its-kind and a program that I’m certain many people wish were available to them when they were pursuing a college education. We’re working to create greater opportunities and access for black children,” says HBCUW’s Director, Jahi Jones. “My hope is for Black children to see wrestling as an option, just as they would with popular sports like basketball and football. Wrestling truly builds leadership, but so do HBCUs. Students shouldn’t have to choose between pursuing their interests in wrestling or going to an HBCU. We are working to enrich the HBCU experience and look forward to having more Black students get involved with the wrestling community.” 

“Wrestling teaches leadership. Fifteen of our 46 presidents wrestled as well as many important business, political, and community leaders," says Mike Novogratz CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners. "That is what HBCU Wrestling is about. It's about growing the sport of wrestling and our bench of future black leaders who will make our nation more just and prosperous. I fully support the HBCU Wrestling Initiative and hope that many others will help push this endeavor forward."

“The purpose behind this donation is to create access and equity which will serve to further diversify the sport of wrestling by providing opportunities for student-athletes that do not currently exist,” said Edward Scott, Ph.D., vice president and director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Morgan State University. “We are extremely grateful to HBCU Wrestling, and Mike Novogratz for this tremendous contribution to Morgan State University Athletics." 

"Wrestling has been one of the greatest teachers in my life,” adds Kerry McCoy, Olympian & HBCU Wrestling Board Member. “It's taught me hard work, dedication, sacrifice, team work, humility and perseverance and a lot more. To be a part of HBCUW will not only ensure a huge positive impact on the sport that is dear to me, but an impact on my community forever. This is a legacy that will live on way past any of us. The young men and women who will take advantage of the opportunity HBCUW is offering will be leaders and inspire generations to come. Their experiences will be magnified exponentially through time. Knowing I played a small part of it brings true joy to my heart."

“I am really excited to help with the HBCU Wrestling Initiative,” Notes two-time Super Bowl Champion and HBCUW Collaborator, Tony Dungy. “I always loved it when we drafted a football player who had a wrestling background because I knew we were getting a disciplined, motivated, team-oriented person. I’m looking forward to seeing young men and women continue their wrestling careers and develop their leadership skills at HBCU schools.”

Nate Parker, HBCUW Board Member adds, "Wrestling has been an essential part of my growth and development as an artist, entrepreneur and human being. It has taught me the value of discipline, hard work and integrity- all things that continue to prove critical to my success as a wrestler, father and husband. What excites me most about being a part of the HBCUW initiative is in knowing other young women and men will have an opportunity to gain access to the sport of wrestling while also pursuing an education in an environment designed for their specific cultural enrichment and growth. An opportunity that was not available to me during my transition from high school to college."

Over the course of the past year it’s been made clear that we need to invest more deeply in BIPOC communities across the board. HBCUW creates the opportunity for the young Black men to embrace the movement for racial justice in America while also making a significant investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For more information on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative, visit www.hbcuwrestling.org

About Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative (HBCUW):

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative (HBCUW) is a project which aims to bring wrestling to historically Black colleges and universities across America. Supported by Galaxy Gives, Black Wrestling Association, National Wrestling Coaches Association, and Goodnation Foundation, HBCU W seeks to expand access to the opportunities created by wrestling for the Black community, expanding the Black community’s footprint and power within the sport, and investing in the critical institutions that HBCUs represent.  

About Galaxy Gives:

Galaxy Gives is the philanthropic entity of the Mike and Sukey Novogratz Family, which invests in nonprofits, mission-driven companies, and media to take down barriers created by structural poverty, oppression, and racism and to maximize opportunity and human flourishing for all. Galaxy Gives most significant areas of impact and investing include justice reform, youth development, leadership, and impact investments. To learn more about Galaxy Gives, visit www.galaxygives.com or follow on Twitter and Instagram @galaxy_gives.

About Morgan State University

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 130 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu