(HBCU ) Historically Black Colleges / Universities Executive Order

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday re-establishing the White House Initiative on (HBCU) Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Moving the HBCU initiative from the Department of Education to the Executive Office of the President. The “new” executive order offered no other concrete changes from previous orders, such as new funding commitments or contracting requirements by federal agencies. The executive order creates an advisory board similar to that of past administrations. It also urges federal agencies to consider how they can better work with historically black colleges as did previous presidential directives.

HBCU - Historically Black Colleges

 

HBCU Fly-In

“It’s a very important moment and a moment that means a great deal to me …” Trump said. Trump hosted HBCU presidents in the Oval Office Yesterday 2/28 they met with congressional Republicans in a daylong conference at the Library of Congress. The “HBCU Fly-In“ was organized by Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. The high-level meetings represented heightened attention for black colleges — particularly from Republicans. But not everyone saw much substance in the meetings that kicked off the visit to D.C.

(HBCU ) Historically Black Colleges / Universities  Executive Order
(HBCU ) Historically Black Colleges / Universities Executive Order

Photo Opportunity

The discussions with the Republicans on Capitol Hill happened against a backdrop of dissatisfaction on HBCU campuses, where many students and faculty members see their presidents being used or — worse — collaborating with an administration they see as hostile to their communities. “If the question is, are these meetings — or more crudely, photo opportunities — translating into tangible resources for or otherwise advancing the needs of historically black colleges and universities? The answer right now is no,” according to David Johns. Mr. Johns served as the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans under President Obama

Morehouse College President -“Troubling”

Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr., shared his thoughts about the White House’s approach to historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, in an open letter on the school’s website. He writes, in part, that “…all HBCU presidents were invited to a dialogue with President Trump and his new administration about support for HBCUs. Most of the 104 HBCU presidents attended…”Despite their high hopes about increased funding, Wilson says that “the key change is a symbolic shift of the White House HBCU Initiative from the Department of Education to the White House. It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever.” President Wilson concluded closed his open letter by stating “In general, the meetings were a troubling beginning to what must be a productive relationship. Trust that the HBCU community will continue to press for the kind of funding that educational excellence and national competitiveness require!

 

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