Ep. 005 – Hidden Figures

 Episode Summary – Here’s the question: What’s it like to attend an HBCU when you’re not black? Learn more about some of the ‘hidden figures’ at HBCUs. Jose’ Vazquez talks about coaching baseball at Alabama State University. Administrators Manuel McGriff and Caritza Mariani will tell you how diversity at Paul Quinn College in Dallas is impacting the campus.


  • What’s it like to attend an HBCU and you’re not Black
  • Which HBCUs are predominately non-black in terms of the student population
  • Navigating people’s perception while representing being a product of an HBCU
  • The commonality of non-black coaches in SWAC/MEAC
  • Preparing non-black student-athletes
  • Why are other races attracted to HBCUs
  • What HBCUs provide for all students
  • How Paul Quinn College and other HBCUs may accommodate everyone 
  • What is a ‘Work College’

HBCUs Mentioned in this Episode: Alabama State University, Paul Quinn College, Bethune-Cookman University, Bluefield State College, West Virginia State University, Alcorn State University, Grambling University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Alabama A & M University


Jose Vazquez is the head baseball coach at Alabama State University and according to Baseball America, one of the top head coaches in the country. Jose is the only Puerto Rican head coach at an HBCU and one of four Latino head baseball coaches in Division I baseball. He is a graduate of HBCU, Bethune-Cookman College, now Bethune-Cookman University. 

Caritza Mariani is the director of Retention and Academic Advising at Paul Quinn College located in Dallas, Texas. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Caritza now recruits Minnesotans to join the Quinnite Nation. 


Manuel McGriff is currently the Dean of Students at Paul Quinn College. Manuel is a graduate of HBCU, Johnson C. Smith University. He has also worked at HBCUs: Livingstone College and Texas Southern University. 




Jose’ Vazquez Twitter: @CoachVazquez27

Caritza Mariani Facebook: Caritza Mariani Curren

Twitter: @CaritzaMariani

Manuel McGriff Facebook: Manuel McGriff

Manuel McGriff Instagram: @igflexxinn

Alabama State Univeristy Twitter: @ASUHornetNation

Alabama State University Instagram: @alabamastateuniversity

Alabama State University Baseball Twitter: @BamaStateBB

Paul Quinn College Twitter: @PaulQuinnTigers

Paul Quinn College Instagram: @paulquinncollege

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The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs.

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