On Monday, September 27, Morris Brown College announced a partnership with JPay to provide a music lab for the students in the Music Department. 

JPay is a privately owned technology and financial services provider that focuses on offering convenient services for inmates within the United States Prison System. 

The announcement was made before a Hip Hop Contest hosted by the Department of Music. The students had the opportunity to judge lyrics written by incarcerated individuals. The beats were provided by Grammy Award Winning Producer Zaytoven. 

Julian Ross, a junior Music Technology major at Morris Brown College was emotional about receiving the chance to hear the lyrics from people that are incarcerated. 

“I am a complete stranger and they understand that somebody is going to hear and see what they have to say,” Ross said. 

Ross believes he was chosen to judge this competition based on his ear for music and is excited to be in the number with Grammy Award Winning artist Lecrae, who is the celebrity judge for the contest. 

The Department of Music Chair, Dr. Bernard Short believes this contest was personal to him being that he has had family members that were incarcerated. 

“For us to give a voice to those who are incarcerated means a lot to me because I am allowed to help in a way now that I could not for my own family,” Short said.

This is one of the many collaborations and contributions that Morris Brown College has in the works and President Kevin E. James is ready to tackle the Revival of the historic institution. 

“No HBCU in history has ever come back after 20 years of losing its accreditation. This is needed work,” James stated.

While JPay donated $10,000, James is hoping the community will help revitalize and give back to an institution in need. Morris Brown College is also a partner with companies such as Chick-fil-a and Edible Arrangements.

Being that Morris Brown is the only HBCU in the state of Georgia with a Hospitality Management Program, James was elated to announce the plans to build a hotel on campus for students to get hands-on experience before graduation. 

“I feel like God sent me to Morris Brown College to lend what I have to offer to help resurrect Morris Brown,” James said. 

He hopes that the Community will hop on board with the idea of Morris Brown College having its “Hard Reset.”

“We need folks to go out and speak positively about our institution. We need financial resources,” James stated. 

He also emphasized that the institution is looking for a major donor willing to give. 

“We are anticipating that philanthropists will say ‘you know what? Morris Brown is good ground and they have proven that they are good ground,’” James stated.


(Dr. Kevin James is holding a check with representatives of JPay, students of Morris Brown College, and the Chair of the Department of Music, Dr. Bernard Short. Photo Credit: Alexis Grace/ The Atlanta Voice)

Alexis Grace is a recent graduate of Clark Atlanta University and a current Graduate student at Agnes Scott College. During and after her time at CAU, she has worked and interned for several publications...