Building Your HBCU Brand That Builds Your Worth
by William Jackson, M.Edu.
@wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach
Wm Jackson is a graduate of South Carolina State University and past instructor at the
oldest HBCU in Florida – Edward Waters College.
In today’s society, HBCU students cannot allow others to brand them or label them.
There are billions of people on the planet; each person from conception to death has a story and a personal brand. Students cannot allow others to tell their story, to brand with error about who they are, and what they are about.
HBCUs have a rich history of culture, creativity, innovation, and invention. They must tell their own stories to collectively expand the potential of graduates and influence the world. How others see you is important; society should see you beyond skin tones, hairstyles, and accept the beauty that we each have and should embrace in ourselves.
This is why an HBCU’s Brand is important to help define outside of visual and cultural perceptions. Why would anyone allow mass media to define them, to tell an incomplete and inaccurate story that only sees or tells false/half-truths? HBCUs even today are fighting for not just financial support, they are striving for respect and recognition to
show their continued and transformative contributions in this nation.
In 2013, St. Paul College closed after 125 years. With a rich history of building men and women, their stories continue.
There are many other HBCUs that have not survived history; they live on in their students and the accomplishments still being achieved.
Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics/Medicine is the legacy in the 20th and 21st century.
The Brand of HBCUs should continuously be modified and adapted for telling a story of growth, hope, and preparing for the future. HBCU students’ personal brands should be self-reflective. What do students want society to see? What do HBCU students want society’s perceptions to be?
The work that goes into building a Brand is not an exact science; it requires that person to be reflective.
HBCU students must find out what their Brand is personally, asking themselves where they are heading:
- What do they want to do with their life?
- How can they match their career aspirations with their personal brand?
- How do they want society to see them?
- What makes them unique?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
HBCU students must identify why their Brand is important, such as understanding your “Personal Brand” (how you present yourself to others) and understanding your “Brand Identity” (the qualities that make you unique and different from others). HBCU
students need to understand the importance of their Personal Brand in starting a career, standing out from others, and personal self-confidence.
Celebrities are not the only ones that benefit from Personal Branding. There is competition for employment and career stability is fierce. Having a Personal Brand working can be the difference between an entry-level position or executive positions.
Controlling your Brand helps you control how you are perceived, such as when you see brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Coke, Pepsi, Empire, Scandal, The View and other products. For each one, you expect a certain thing from them. The same should be held for HBCU’s as well, what do you as the student expect people to expect. Your Brand can make you memorable or nefarious, notorious or noticeable. You decide.
William Jackson is a past Professor at Edward Waters College, where he designed a curriculum that embraced Educational Technology, Social Media, and STEAM from 2004 to 2017.
He is a WordCamp organizer, blogger, volunteer, speaker, and digital community activist for TEDxFSCJ and the Social Media Manager for Jacksonville Sister Cities Association.
He blogs about his life experiences as he travels speaking to youth, teens and young adults and is a member of the body of Christ with Northside Church of Christ.
William has 28 years as a public school educator in Physical Education and Technology Instruction and is a community activist where he is actively engaged in the Jacksonville, Florida community with Vision Keepers and New Town Success Zone.
William is joined by Aida Correa who is an artist, blogger, poet, actress and a proud Latina. Both are parents to adult children. They can be found on Twitter at:
@wmjackson and @latinapheonix and hashtags respectively
#MyQuestToTeach and #LoveBuiltLife #LoveBuiltStudio