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ICYMI: Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates Historically Black Colleges and Universities

September 12, 2021

Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration celebrated the 2021 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week and the record number of HBCU graduates working on behalf of the Administration. This follows a longstanding commitment from the President and Vice President to build an Administration that truly looks like America.

On Friday, September 3rd, President Biden signed a proclamation to acknowledge September 5-11, 2021 as National HBCU Week and an executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Opportunity, and Excellence through HBCUs (White House Initiative on HBCUs), which will create a government-wide approach to support the needs of HBCUs and the communities they serve.

The White House Initiative on HBCUs hosted its annual HBCU Week Conference on September 7-10, which included a series of events and opportunities for federal agencies, private sector companies and philanthropic organizations to engage with HBCUs.

HBCU week highlights below:

  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond, a graduate of Morehouse College, kicked off the National HBCU Week Conference with greetings from President Biden and panel discussions.
  • President Biden named Tony Allen, President of Delaware State University, as Chair of the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
  • Vice President Harris visited Hampton University to tour STEM education facilities and emphasize the importance of science, technology, engineering and math as fields of study at HBCUs. The Vice President also hosted a roundtable with students which was moderate by Vincent Evans, Deputy Director of Public Engagement and a graduate of Florida A&M University.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Cameron Webb hosted a roundtable with student leaders from Florida A&M University, Norfolk State University, Tennessee State University, Fort Valley State University, Southern University at New Orleans and Bowie State University about the work they are doing to vaccinate their communities.
  • Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, hosted press briefing with 20 student journalists from HBCUs across that country.
  • Trey Baker, Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and graduate of Tougaloo College, joined 1890 Land Grant Universities and WURD, the only African American owned and operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania, to discuss the historic federal funding HBCUs have received from the Biden-Harris Administration.

What they're saying about HBCU Week:

  • Black Entertainment Television: "President Joe Biden's administration took concrete steps this week to make good on its promise to support the nation's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)."
  • Diverse Issues in Higher Education: "In his pre-recorded appearance, Biden said his administration will continue to empower and sustain the over 100 HBCUs across the country."
  • theGrio: "A Scholarship for Service program operated by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation (NFS) provides scholarships and stipends to students pursuing cybersecurity-related degrees in exchange for two years of federal service."
  • The Undefeated: "The Biden-Harris administration hopes other HBCUs will heed the president's latest executive order and focus on funding and partnerships for educational research and advancement that's on display at Hampton."
  • Watch The Yard: '…the President's Board of Advisors will, 'advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative, established by the Carter Administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to its students and continue serving as engines of opportunity.'"

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates Historically Black Colleges and Universities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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