HBCU family, in an effort to be more successful than Sen. Bernie Sanders in regards to engaging younger voters on the yard at historically black colleges, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden recently rolled out a new outreach program to recruit and organize HBCU students. This comes after Sanders emerging as a potent force on HBCUs.
Texas Southern University student Adunola Rachel Osinuga, who has been named one of three student leaders by the Biden campaign, told BuzzFeed News over the phone that “I don’t discount elderly individuals. I think he has a very wise attitude in the way he deals with people of my generation, and he’s someone who has had a lot of experience in politics. So you have to give credit where credit is due.”
From Buzzfeed News:
The announcement comes as Biden surrogates are launching a bus tour in South Carolina ahead of what could be a potentially lethal stretch of voting in Iowa and New Hampshire, mostly white states where Biden enjoys strong support but hasn’t yet drawn enough excitement to pull away from some of his Democratic challengers. Biden has maintained strong support among black voters.
“Joe Biden has always been, and continues to be central to civil rights activism and social justice, and produce outstanding young leaders. … The campaign is proud to have student leaders on HBCUs across the country organizing and volunteering for our campaign, and their strength will help us win the nomination and beat Trump,” campaign aide Kamau M. Marshall said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
HBCUs have been a quandary for national Democrats — and attention has turned increasingly toward them in 2020. At many HBCUs, students are upset and impatient with the lack of racial progress and economic opportunities. Students attend institutions that lack resources (unlike well-known HBCUs like Howard University and Spelman College) — many are barely scraping by, sustained by the educators and administrators. Biden, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg have all released plans to specifically address funding issues for HBCUs and students who attend them; Biden’s proposal includes a $70 billion investment.
Sanders has emerged as a potent force on HBCUs, with strong support among young black voters nationally. In recent polling from the Washington Post, Sanders led all candidates in support among black voters under 35, while Biden led with black voters overall and among older age groups.
The other two student leaders of the “HBCU Students For Biden” program are the Student Government Association president at Spelman College in Atlanta, Nia Page, and William Fairfax of Claflin University.