An Interview with Roland Martin

Roland Martin is a well-known journalist, appearing as the host of NewsOne Now and Washington on Watch with Roland S. Martin, as well as a CNN contributor. Recently, our founder Gerard Murray had the opportunity to sit down with Martin to discuss Tradition Ever Since and the lasting value of giving back to HBCUs.

At the top of the interview, Martin quickly delves into the problematic nature of alumni financial donation rates. He poses, "If you went to an HBCU, you can't convince me [that] you cannot send your school 10 or 20 dollars." This statement frames the rest of the conversation, in which Murray is able to offer a multi-faceted response. At Tradition, Murray says that they "take [their] dollars and go outside the community." As a brand that "embod[ies] the history and legacy and pride of all the colleges [they] touch on," the brand places special emphasis on HBCUs. In regard to financial giving, Murray states "It's not about the 10 thousand [dollar] donation," but instead, "give five dollars." The foundation of tradition is the notion of paying it forward in a way that suits your means. Expanding on this, Murray mentions Tradition's partnership with the HBCU Alumni Alliance and how this relationship has allowed for greater donation opportunities:

The partnership that we have, part of it is I'm not just telling you to go buy Tradition. Go to and just give five dollars. If you can afford to give that 10 thousand, do that, but it's all about paying it forward. You're standing on the grounds of the people who [are] the reason these schools have been founded.

Murray posits that Tradition isn't just an apparel brand—it's a way to both represent and support HBCUs. "Find another brand that gives a portion of [their] proceeds that goes back to the scholarships," Murray states, challenging the audience. Tradition gives back a portion of every sale back to the school represented on the sold merchandise. Proceeds from a Howard t-shirt or pair of leggings will, without question, be given back to Howard University. He also emphasizes to give, even if you can only allot a small amount. What's important to recognize here is this—HBCUs need you, arguably even more after you've graduated. These institutions are no strangers to financial strife, meaning they need all the help they can get—from alumni, supporters, students, and most importantly, you. If you spare that $5, you're statistically increasing the chances of another student enrolling, even if it's just by mere decimals. All in all, Tradition is simply "looking out for those who are coming behind us." With your support, we can help secure more students' futures at HBCUs.

One of the most significant elements of this interview with Roland Martin is the degree of exposure. As a popular journalist, Martin's shows garner millions of views. Some of these viewers may not have been aware of what HBCUs are or the historical significance of them. This interview allowed us to speak to these viewers about Tradition's mission as a brand and the importance of HBCU giving. Educating the masses is a vital part in shedding more light on the plight of HBCUs. With more exposure like this, we can further our objective to protect and preserve these institutions. In turn, Roland Martin's platform helped us boost MyHBCUGiveback, an initiative we're very proud of and excited about. We are hopeful that this televised opportunity gave Martin's audience solid avenues to donate, and that's something to celebrate.

Click here to visit MyHBCUGiveback to learn more about donating to HBCUs. If you have questions about this initiative, please contact us or the HBCU Alumni Alliance.