Trump To Speak Sept 10 At 2019 National HBCU Week Conference
President Donald Trump will be a speaker at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Conference Tuesday, Sept. 10, Black Enterprise exclusively reported.
The conference will take place in Washington, D.C. Sept. 8-10 under the theme “Enhancing HBCU Competitiveness: Student Achievement. Quality Partnerships. Institutional Performance.” There is an expectation of nearly 1,800 attendees.
Trump’s appearance at the conference comes over two years after he met with leadership from nearly 100 HBCUs across the country and signed an executive order to move the federal initiative from the Department of Education to the White House executive offices, reported Essence. The order also established a President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
During the meeting Trump promised to give HBCUs immense attention. “With this executive order, we will make HBCUs a priority in the White House, an absolute priority … A lot of people are going to be angry that they’re not a priority, but that’s okay,” Trump said.
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The White House initiative on HBCUs was created in 1981 by then-President Ronald Reagan. For years HBCUs have faced challenges due to having a high number of low-income and first-generation college students needing immense support.
Black colleges are known to produce the highest amount of Black business owners and influential Black leaders across all sectors of society. They are also known to give opportunities to vulnerable students who may not otherwise attend college.
HBCU leaders have said to operate effectively, they need more funding and support from the government. In 2017, they requested $25 billion for financial aid, college readiness, infrastructure and more. That request has yet to be fulfilled.