Amid a groundswell of allegations online and during the campaign regarding mismanagement of the Atlanta University Center and a lack of care for Historically Black Colleges, mayoral candidate Kasim Reed spoke exclusively to The Atlanta Voice regarding this latest issue ahead of Election Day.
Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, claimed in an October 20th letter that Reed wasted taxpayer dollars trying to wrest land from Clark Atlanta University (which was later echoed in a video) and Morris Brown College in “a fight that diverted substantial funds” from those schools. Also, Rose claimed Reed was “a defund the police advocate”, although Reed does not support reducing funding or support for law enforcement.
“I’m a graduate of Howard University and a Trustee Emeritus of Howard University,” Reed explained. “And you think that I would do something to harm another HBCU? It’s nonsense. But we live in a time where when somebody tells a lie, if it’s not challenged within 24 hours to lie becomes the truth. And because I was a private citizen, and doing other things, I let folks say whatever they want. And so because I’m running for mayor, I’m answering the spurious accusations which are false.”
The video in question begins with a voice over saying, “for more than 100 years, HBCUs have been educating African-Americans, instilling them with great values and providing them with economic opportunities. What’s not to love about HBCUs?”
The video also claims Reed attempted to take land away from Clark Atlanta University, in a move that cost $10M dollars and the proceedings in total $24 million loss for the city of Atlanta. The video would go on to say Reed had an “egregious vendetta against one of Atlanta’s most beloved universities.” However, Morris Brown filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012 and sold most of its campus in Atlanta in an attempt to prevent the foreclosure and sale-at-auction of its campus.
Morris Brown requested that the bankruptcy court approve the sale of a large portion of its campus, including the property in the filing, to Invest Atlanta in 2014, which cost $10.1 million. The bankruptcy court conducted a hearing that it was “clear that [MBC] can only sell whatever interest in [the] property it has” and that it was “not making any findings regarding the extent of [MBC’s] interest in the reversionary property.”
In the last 19 years, the college never closed.
In other words, the sale helped Morris Brown from shutting their doors completely and assisted them on their path toward regaining accreditation.
“What would happen if they didn’t get the $10 million? Would they have been able to keep professors and continue to operate, pay their electric bills, pay their bills, hire lawyers to help them get their accreditation back? The would not have,” Reed said. “But I’m the one because of the cheapness of digital ads, and the anonymous digital content world that we live in, is being attacked by people who’ve not done anything.”
Reed would later attack Andre Dickens and Felicia Moore saying ‘all they’re doing just lies’ and that ‘they have no record.’
Reed graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees plus an honorary Doctor of Laws. He later served on Howard’s Board of Trustees for almost 20 years while becoming the University’s youngest general trustee in June 2002, according to the Howard University website.