On February 28, President Trump signed an executive order pledging support of his administration to historically Black colleges and universities, saying HBCUs are “an absolute priority for this White House.”
Dr. Kent Smith, the president of historically Black Langston University, observed:
“One of the most significant pieces of his executive order that has not gotten much traction yet but that we think is significant is the fact that he is relocating the director of the historically Black college White House initiative from basically being a report through the Secretary of Education and turning it to be a report through the White House.”
“One of the significant factors is that President Trump has a few of his executive staff members who are graduates of historically Black colleges and universities, which as a result allows them to advocate for HBCUs,” Smith added. “And it gives him an insight into really what’s happening.”
Smith also pointed out that HBCUs have “contributed significantly” to the country’s Black middle-class and nine percent of all Black college students attend those institutions.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund President Johnny Taylor told reporters that the Trump administration now has to address the budget, adding “You cannot have mission without money.”
Since President Jimmy Carter in 1980, each president has signed an executive order recognizing the initiative.