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Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Published date: January 31, 2018

Virginia State University, in partnership with Firelight Media, Independent Lens, Community IdeaStations, 91.3 WVST, and AKILA WORKSONGS present the Richmond Premiere Screening of the Critically Acclaimed Documentary

"Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities"

with special guest Stanley Nelson, Director America's foremost film chronicler of the African-American experience)

Tell Them We Are Rising explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture, and identity. This film reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice.  The film premiered last year at the Sundance Festival to critical acclaim.

Guests will view the groundbreaking 90-minute documentary. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Stanley Nelson; VSU President, Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D.; Dr. Oliver Hill Jr., and VSU student leadership. The discussion will be moderated by April R. Silver of AKILA WORKSONGS, an HBCU graduate and an #HBCURising National Partner, and will be taped for television broadcast by WCVE PBS.

Guests are encouraged to register for this event by clicking here. For more information, please contact Virginia State University’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (804) 524-5333 or

Join the national conversation on social media by using the official hashtag #HBCURising and following @HBCURising on Twitter & Instagram. Learn more about the film, its filmmakers and how you can contribute to the HBCU Digital Yearbook by visiting

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