Students, Alumni, Leaders Offer Mixed Reaction To White House Order on HBCUs | WYPR

Students, Alumni, Leaders Offer Mixed Reaction To White House Order on HBCUs

Mar 23, 2017

 

Last month President Trump met with leaders from nearly 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Today, a conversation about Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Maryland is home to four of the nation’s more than 100 institutions. Last month, President Trump issued an Executive Order directed at HBCUs after meeting with nearly 100 presidents and leaders of those institutions. Some HBCU students and alumni criticized the meeting, calling it a photo op. Several HBCU presidents who attended say they were given little time to discuss their concerns and talk about strategies to help their institutions succeed. 

The executive order takes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities away from the purview of the Department of Education and puts it at the White House, placing it under a director appointed by the Trump administration, that person has yet to be appointed. The order also calls for several reports and it establishes committees to identify federal and private funding sources.  President Trump is not the first president to issue an order directed at HBCUs. Beginning with the Carter administration in 1980, every president has signed a document pledging support to the schools. Those documents have not always translated into impactful funding or resources for the institutions.  More than 70% of students attending HBCUs receive Pell Grants, compared to 33% of students overall. While President Trump’s latest budget proposal keeps the federal Pell grant program, it cuts the suprlus fund by $3.9 billion dollars. 

Tom is joined by Jarrett Carter, the founder and editor of HBCUDigest.com, an online daily news blog dedicated to coverage of historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Then, Tom is joined by Dr. David Wilson, the president of Morgan State University and Johnny C. Taylor the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Both Dr. Wilson and Mr. Taylor attended Donald Trump's meeting with HBCU leaders. Mr. Taylor wrote the original request to the Trump administration for an HBCU meeting. 

On April 27, HBCU Collective is calling on students, alumni and friends of HBCUs to rally in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill for a National Day of Action to support the nations over 100 institutions. Participants who can't make it to Washington are being asked to contact their elected officials through calls, emails and one-on-one meetings. The goal is to get a commitment from elected officials across the country to make funding and resources for HBCUs a priority during this and future Congressional sessions.   For more information about the Day of Action of the HBCU Collective click here. You can also contact them at HBCUcollective@gmail.com.