Michael Lomax

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in. That’s the motto of the organization I have the privilege to lead, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). We support more than 60,000 students each year, helping them get “to and through” college and to a career so they can realize their potential. 

We have partnered with members of the Stand Together community since 2014. Today the connection between our respective missions is clear, almost obvious — that wasting a young person’s extraordinary potential is unacceptable. That by removing the barriers standing in their way, we honor the inherent dignity of every individual. 

But to some, that wasn’t always the case. We were initially criticized for our differences. As Charles Koch and I wrote in USA Today in 2016, our seemingly unlikely alliance began — and remains grounded — in a quote from the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass that hangs on the wall of his foundation: “I would unite with anybody to do right.” 

By embracing Frederick Douglass’ charge, we have found common and fruitful ground. And together, we are achieving more than we ever could separately.

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