Black Voters Matter alongside our partners and coalition of student organizers at Tennessee State University (TSU) are pleased that the Governor made the right decision in appointing TSU alumni to the board following the recent vote to vacate. We believe that representation matters, and the board should always reflect the needs of the campus community. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that TSU has significant financial obligations that must be addressed. TSU has been underfunded for more than 30 years and is still owed $2.1 billion from the state. 

“I am disappointed with the legislature’s decision to vacate the Board of Trustees. As students, we must continue to fight against injustice to prevail against modern-day oppression. We’re glad to see that student voices were listened to and that Governor Lee has appointed all TSU alumni to the board. I have hope that the light of justice will shine on Tennessee State University and its community.” said Samson Cook, Freshman Class TSU 

“When We Fight Back we win! We’re glad to see the governor listened to the community and TSU alumni and appointed all alumni to Tennessee State’s board. Now the Governor needs to fully fund the university. Tennessee State is owed 2.1 billion dollars and he needs to appropriate those funds to put Tennessee State in the best position to succeed and provide adequate resources for its students.” said Amber Sherman, Tennessee Regional Organizer of Black Voters Matter 

Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, Co-Founders of Black Voters Matter  

“We are proud and so grateful for all of the hard work of student organizers and our local partners The Equity Alliance, the Nashville and student chapters of the NAACP and other activists who helped to push the Governor to appoint board members who have the best interest of the students and university at heart.  

Across the country, we are seeing that HBCU’s are being underfunded and stripped of resources. We must continue to pay attention to what’s happening in our communities, with our schools, and with our students and demand that the resources are allocated.       

$17 Billion is owed to our institutions – we’re putting pressure on legislators to take action now to pay the debt and fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” 

We are committed to continuing to call on local and national leaders, HBCU alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members to join us in this fight to hold elected officials accountable. We must continue to fight back and ensure that TSU has the leadership, resources, and support it needs to continue its mission of providing high-quality education to all students.