RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Historically Black Colleges and Universities remain on high alert after a nationwide series of bomb threats. The sentiment at HBCU Saint Augustine's University is that of resilience.
"It is sad to see things that like still going on," student Zachary Barco said. "You would think things like that would only happen in the '50s, '60s during the Civil Rights movement. What people don't realize is we're not far removed from that."
The Southern Poverty Law Center hosted a virtual roundtable discussion over the nationwide series of bomb threats at HBCUs. North Carolina is home to the most four-year-degree-granting HBCUs in the country. There are 10 universities and colleges with a founding mission to educate minority students.
"If the oppressor can get inside our mind and cause us to question our institutions, the safety and security, they win. So what we have to do as HBCUs is continue to empower these institutions," said Saint Augustine's President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail.
Though there have been no threats on the campus, McPhail has shifted her focus to empowering students. She said she believes the rise in bomb threats across the country is an effort to disrupt learning and decrease enrollment.
"We have come so far. Our university is over 150 years old. Do you think we will turn around now because of the fear of bomb threats? No way. Not going to happen," she said.
Students like Barco share the same belief.
"I feel it has sparked some threats to deter people from going to HBCUs because they aren't safe. The reality is this is a very rich and cultured, diverse place to be," he said.