President Trump Announces White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

President Trump Announces White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

October 13, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Secretary DeVos: Good
afternoon, everyone. I’m Betsy DeVos,
U.S. Secretary of Education. This administration seeks
to provide educational opportunities for all students, especially those underserved and
marginalized. HBCUs play a very important
role in American education. Under President Trump’s
leadership in supporting and uplifting HBCUs, we
are taking important steps to ensure that HBCUs and
the students they serve remain influential players
in their communities and in our country. It’s a pleasure to work
with Executive Director Jonathan Holifield and the
entire staff of the initiative, and we all
join President Trump in his strong commitment to
the success of HBCUs and their students. We’re excited to hear the
President’s announcement, and so, without further ado, the President of the United States. The President:
Thank you very much. Well, thank you very much. We appreciate it. This is very important,
and very important to me and the administration. I want to, again, reiterate such a commitment to what we’re
doing in so many different aspects, and especially
the incredible job that Betsy is doing. And I think you’re seeing
the fruits of that labor, and you will see it over
the years, definitely. I want to begin by expressing
our tremendous gratitude to Johnathan Holifield and
the members of the White House Initiative on Historically
Black Colleges and Universities throughout our country. They’re working hard,
doing well, and we’re making a very big
commitment to them today. Since I signed — and,
by the way, Johnathan — Mr. Holifield: Yes. The President:
Where’s Johnathan? Thank you very much. Great job. Since I signed the
executive order establishing this initiative
in my administration, we have
made great strides in strengthening HBCUs,
a cherished and vital institution in
our country. Very important. I’m proud to say that my
budget continues America’s commitment to helping
HBCUs improve their competitiveness,
requesting more than half a billion dollars for
HBCU-focused programs. Further, the recent budget
deal allows for the forgiveness of any
outstanding loans owed under the HBCU Hurricane
Supplement Loan program, which was a very difficult
task and it worked out. I’m also pleased that our
extension of the Pell Grant eligibility will
greatly help the many students attending
our wonderful HBCUs. Today, I’m honored to announce
that Johnny Taylor, Jr. — well known
to a lot of us, great guy — will serve as our new
Chairman and Chairman of the President’s Board of
Advisors on Historically Black Colleges
and Universities. Johnny is the CEO of the Society
for Human Resource Management, which serves
to connect the students at these institutions with
the jobs of tomorrow. He also recently served as
president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. I know he will advance the
cause of HBCUs, a major priority of our
administration. And with that, I’d like
to introduce and thank Chairman Taylor, and
invite him to the podium to say a few words. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Chairman Taylor:
Thank you, President Trump and
Secretary DeVos. I appreciate the trust
you haave placed in me to chair the President’s
Board of Advisors on HBCUs. It has been my life’s work
to unleash talent in all of its forms from
wherever it originates. As CEO of the Society for
Human Resource Management, we call it SHRM. I work with employers
across the country and indeed across the world. No matter the industry,
size, or longevity, today’s organizations all
share the same challenge: closing the skills gap
while building diverse, inclusive, engaged
workforces. For each of them, the war
for talent, as we’ve come to call it,
will never end. And thanks to this
incredibly strong economy, it’s now a way of life. And today, people are
an organization’s only competitive advantage. Employers depend on our
country’s educational institutions as a
reliable source of the multi-faceted
talent they need. HBCUs are a critical
conduit for this talent. Every year, over 300,000
students turn to these institutions, HBCUs, for
their education and to prepare them for
their careers. This President’s Advisory
Board can be a nexus between higher educational
institutions and employers. As CEO — I’ve been a CEO
in both non-profit and for-profit organizations,
a former Fortune 500 Chief HR Executive, and someone
with over seven and a half years of experience in the
HBCU space, I am really up for this challenge. At SHRM, we are experts. We are the experts on
people and work, and on building powerfully
diverse organizational cultures that
drive success. SHRM’s 300,000 members
impact the lives of over 100 million people in
the American workforce. By working together across
all sectors, the HR profession, HBCUs, and
this Advisory Board, we can strengthen the
relationship between education and employers —
we call it to the Two E’s. This Advisory Board can
facilitate the critical relationship and support
innovations in workbased learning opportunites
for HBCU students. And as the world’s largest
human resources organization and association, SHRM can now work with CEOs
to connect industry to the diverse talent at our
wonderful HBCU institutions. This Board has an
incredible opportunity to highlight HBCUs as
wellsprings of the diverse talent American employers
want and need today. HR and education, along
with the support of this administration, must
move together forward. I look forward to working
with Secretary DeVos, Jonathan Holifield, and
the White House HBCU Initiative Team. Thank you, Mr. President. The President:
Congratulations. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody.