Actor and Howard University alumnus Laz Alonso joined Roland Martin on "NewsOne Now" to discuss how they can save fledgling historically black colleges and universities.
Alonso and Martin were in Los Angeles in preparation for the 45th NAACP Image Awards. They took time, however, to discuss the recent challenges announced at Alonso's alma mater, Howard University, and how HBCU grads can give back to start rebuilding their institutions.
Howard recently had its institutional struggles highlighted in a New York Times article. Despite an impressive roster of famous alumni including Lance Gross, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Debbie Allen and Taraji P. Henson, the school dropped dramatically in U.S. News and World Report's annual "Best Colleges" rankings. That problem was compounded by a letter detailing financial problems at the school that leaked early last year.
"Right now, a group of us - Lance Gross, Marlon Wayans, myself - are putting together a call to action for alumni," said Alonso. "We're trying to bring alumni together, doing PSAs, getting it out through our social media to get alumni, first of all, aware of what's going on. We first have to educate the people that graduated from Howard and, secondly, to give back."