Since COVID-19, she’s needed to get artistic. “A few of it I’ve personalized alone, which I’m probably not positive is authorized as a result of clearly I don’t have the licensing for it, however that’s an entire different factor,” Mays laughs. “I’ve an important embroidery staff, and I’m creating graphics and utilizing the logos and the messaging from the varsity in an effort to make a cool sweatshirt or a t-shirt or no matter it’s.”
Earlier than he went right down to Florida for the NBA restart, Paul had eight gigantic duffel luggage labeled and plastic-wrapped with each outfit he’d be carrying, right down to his pajamas. “It was fairly intense,” Mays mentioned. However much more shipments have to be made, and she or he’s in fixed contact with Oklahoma Metropolis’s tools supervisor in an effort to get Paul sure gadgets. The one minor hitch is that packages despatched to the bubble can’t be overnighted: There’s a cautionary sanitization course of. “It’s an entire traumatic system,” Mays mentioned.
Whereas within the bubble, Paul hopes to arrange a name with gamers who’ve proven an curiosity in supporting HBCUs and bettering their services. In keeping with Mays, there’s additionally an attire line within the works “to ensure each faculty has one thing that’s cool and has been curated by Chris and I.”
Paul is additionally set to supply a docuseries in regards to the challenges HBCUs face when competing towards PWIs on the planet of sports– every thing from recruiting to the final allocation of assets. “We wished to have the ability to inform the tales from their lens, by their eyes, and provides individuals perception into what it’s prefer to be at an HBCU,” Paul mentioned in regards to the upcoming venture.
“I don’t essentially consider in segregation by any means,” Mays mentioned. “However I do suppose that we must always look to a Morehouse and say it’s simply nearly as good as a Michigan. We must always take a look at FAMU (Florida A&M College) and say it’s simply nearly as good as a UPenn. As a Black individual, in case you select to go to an HBCU you must know that you just’re getting the identical schooling that you’d some place else.”
Regardless of declining enrollment numbers, in accordance with the United Negro Faculty Fund, as of 2015, 70 p.c of Black docs and dentists, half of all Black engineers and 35 p.c of Black attorneys are HBCU graduates. Final 12 months, the FUTURE Act was signed into legislation, guaranteeing everlasting federal funding to HBCUs and different establishments which can be largely minority. A number of colleges that had been in peril of constructing extreme price range cuts had been spared. However plenty of injury has already been finished. Within the final 20 years, a number of HBCUs have both misplaced accreditation or had been compelled to shut, whereas extra nonetheless discover themselves in perilous conditions. In 2012, 28,000 HBCU college students had been denied loans, leading to a lack of roughly $155 million in income.
“I went to one in all my little cousin’s graduations, from North Carolina Central,” Paul mentioned. “And I used to be speaking to somebody in regards to the funding and the way a number of HBCUs on the time had been in the potential of going underneath. And that’s all the time the case. In the meantime, lo and behold, Senator Kamala Harris is the product of an HBCU. Howard College. So sooner or later change does happen. Why not now?”