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To: Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick

Establish a Howard University Department of Cinematic Arts & Television

The students of Howard University Film and Television Program call for the establishment of a Department of Cinematic Arts and Television, effective Fall 2019. Howard has the most comprehensive film program, and offers the only MFA in Film, of any HBCU in the United States. Howard University has the only minority owned PBS Affiliate in the nation. For decades since the founding of the Film program in 1971, we have been fulfilling a national and global need for women storytellers and storytellers of color. Still, there is no HBCU in the United States with a department dedicated to the study of cinematic arts and television - we can change this.

We are calling for the first Department of Cinematic Arts and Television, at any HBCU in the nation, to include the following components:

a) independently administered budget.
b) independently managed equipment center and facilities.
c) shared governance by the students and faculty over said budget, equipment center, curriculum development and implementation of the undergraduate and graduate BFA and MFA programs, as well as program and instructor evaluation.
d) And a commitment to attract more of the most qualified professors in the industry, and to continue to produce graduates of the finest caliber.

Support us by signing the petition, share the campaign with everyone you know, and let Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick know that the time is now for a Howard University Department of Cinematic Arts and Television.

Why is this important?

Since 1971, the Howard University film program has produced and/or supported the most highly trained and widely acclaimed storytellers, including: Bradford Young, Hans Charles, Ernest Dickerson, Arthur Jafa, Jenn Nkiru, Malik Sayeed, Alan Ferguson, Sehkar Kammula, Faraday Okoro, Lodi Matsetela, Lekgetho Makola, Nijla Mumin, Maori Karmael Holmes, Floyd Rance, Yao Ramesar, and Shirikiana Aina.

With the likes of Stanley Nelson, Michelle Parkerson, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima having served as faculty in the program.

In the new era of #OscarsSoWhite, #TimesUp, and #MeToo the film and television industry is clearing space for our stories. We must be prepared to answer the call by establishing a Howard University Department of Cinematic Arts & Television - the first department for the study of film at an HBCU.

Washington, DC, USA

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • I signed because this is necessary in order to forge ahead with new cinematic stories in this day in age. As African Americans, we need to be more prepared than any other body of students to tell stories with the extreme vigor, techniques, excellence, and pride. If we are truly the Mecca, then we will rise to the challenge of making sure that we are top notch in all ways.
  • I want HU students to have a fighting chance against USC and UCLA.
  • Because the wonderful film faculty and students I've met from Howard deserve the support of a department, and HBCUs deserve film programs.


2019-01-22 10:56:29 -0800

1,000 signatures reached

2019-01-01 17:51:14 -0800

500 signatures reached

2018-12-27 20:08:38 -0800

100 signatures reached

2018-12-27 11:04:50 -0800

50 signatures reached

2018-12-26 18:25:22 -0800

25 signatures reached

2018-12-25 16:02:26 -0800

10 signatures reached