Historically Black Colleges and University leaders came together on Sep. 28 to discuss furthering the success of the country’s historically Black colleges and universities. They addressed pressing topics like funding, recent bomb threats and infrastructure. (Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash)

By Tashi McQueen, AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member,

Historically Black college and university (HBCU) leaders convened at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 51st Legislative Conference in Washington, DC this week. The event took place on Sep. 28 and focused on making “HBCUs stronger.”

The panel included various leaders and representatives from several HBCUs around the country, including Virginia State University and Alabama A&M University. 

Panelists highlighted the HBCU Initiative Act, currently making its way through Congress. The proposed legislation, led by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), targets the infrastructure on HBCU campuses. Panel members also addressed recent bomb threats to Black institutions.

One panelist said CARES Act funds were incredible for her school. It freed her institution from having to choose between fixing a boiler or buying masks for students.

“We’re in the middle of an HBCU renaissance,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, president of Tennessee State University.

Other leaders highlighted the fact that they are still in need of promised support. 

“We’re owed funds,” said Makola Abdullah, president of Virginia State University. “If we’re going to sustain, we must access these funds.”

Corporate representatives were also invited to the stage to address how they invest in HBCUs, often assisting college campus students who are working with inept infrastructures. Panelists spoke about how HBCUs compete with modernization; digital is just as important as physical infrastructure.
“At Apple, we believe every person should have access to coding and technology,” said Korri Jackson, Senior Education Program Manager, Community Education Initiative (CEI) & HBCU Engagement Lead at Apple. “We want every student to take part in growing a coding curriculum. It is a hub of innovation.”

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