Monday, April 15, 2024

The actors from ‘A Different World’ are kicking off a tour to support HBCUs by raising funds for scholarships and increasing student enrollments

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Thirty-five years later, the cast of “A Different World” has come together for a tour of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to encourage student enrollment and raise scholarship funds.

“A Different World,” a spin-off of “The Cosby Show,” followed Denise Huxtable’s character attending Hillman College, a fictional HBCU in Virginia.

The “A Different World HBCU College Tour 2024” began at the Atlanta University Center, visiting Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College.

Cast members, including Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Dawnn Lewis, Glynn Turman, Cree Summer, Charnele Brown, and Darryl Bell, organized the tour to honor the show’s legacy and introduce HBCUs to a new generation.

For those involved in the show, people frequently express how it influenced them to attend HBCUs. Bell emphasized that HBCUs have produced great leaders, and there’s a personal investment in attending.

Following the Spelman visit, Helene Gayle, Spelman’s president, acknowledged the significance, as several campus buildings depicted Hillman College in the show.

“A Different World” addressed challenging subjects, allowing students to discuss the cast’s filming experiences during a Q&A session.

Kadeem Hardison recalled a favorite episode dealing with race relations, fostering valuable dialogue.

Despite the show’s impact, Bell stressed that Hillman College is fictional, redirecting interested individuals to real HBCUs like Hampton and Howard.

The tour, continuing to Howard University, Alabama State University, and Tuskegee University, includes seminars on financial literacy, career coaching, and voter registration drives for increased civic participation.

Bell noted the tour’s openness to requests from predominantly White colleges with significant African American and Hispanic communities.

The tour has raised $50,000 in scholarship funding, with a $1 million goal by tour end. Ultimately, it aims to inspire future generations to maintain the legacy of HBCUs, even fictional ones like Hillman College, providing opportunities and pathways to careers.

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