From the mouths of 46 HBCU SGA presidents: Here’s what Biden-Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign win means for HBCUs
Hope. Change. Forward.
These are the words that come to mind when the HBCU Buzz team thinks of the meaning behind a historic Biden-Harris campaign win for the 2020 presidential election. Kamala Harris, who graduated from historically black Howard University in the nation’s capital, is the first black woman, Asian American, and HBCU graduate plucked out of the U.S. Senate to win the second-highest office in the country, which is the key role of vice president.
Democratic president Joe Biden will take office in January 2020, facing an uphill battle with the new coronavirus that has become our “new normal” and ultimately brought us closer to one another as a result. He will try to bring a better sense of stability to the country.
Harris, who survived nasty remarks by former President Donald Trump, calling her a “monster” at one point, and appeared graceful compared to that of an overbearing and downright lying approach shown by former Vice President Mike Pence during their only debate, will be the first person to have talks about democracy with Biden and also the last to leave talks about the subject with him.
Prayers for Harris and Biden were held at Howard. These prayers were answered. Her sorors, the beautiful women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. carried out “Strolls to the Polls” in support of Harris, and as a call to action against voter discrimination. The idea was a great success. Indeed, things like this were needed for this incredible win.
A win that makes us all believe that honestly, and truly anything is possible. We too should join Harris and shoot for the stars and aim for the moon.
What a time to be alive!
That is, always forward, and never backward.
And who better than the student-leaders on the campus of some of the historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs to tell you the meaning of such a pivotal win? All of this coming at such a crucial moment in time of this country’s history, even with this quarantine craziness.
Here’s what 46 HBCU SGA presidents are saying about the Biden-Harris Administration:
1Japhe Jelks of Alabama A&M University
For my HBCU, this victory for the Biden-Harris Administration would mean that we are getting the representation that we as African Americans deserve. Our voices were heard and we are also claiming seats at the table! It will bring forth the idea that a change is truly coming for not just the African American, but The African American woman or as we say “The Black Woman!” According to JoeBiden.com Biden and Harris are planning to “Tackle the barriers that prevent students from completing their community college degree or training credential.” Which is all the more reason it is important that take this win and actually execute this plan, because there are so many barriers where I come from and to have help with tackling those allowing my people to grow would be tremendously helpful.
2Aliyah Johnson of Albany State University
A President has been chosen & with your help, your advocacy, your voice, your VOTE we have been afforded a leap in a new direction. One including proactive leadership & unity for the next 4 years. We look forward to working cohesively with new national leadership to push for advocacy regarding our UNSINKABLE institution. This is only the beginning & the task is great however we are more than equipped to make these next 4 years fruitful.
3Patrick Mason of Alcorn State University
Now that Biden is stepping into his presidency, I see big changes not only for Alcorn State University but for HBCUs nationally. President Joe Biden has been vocal about an interest in black education. With Madam Vice President , Kamala Harris, and several others on his campaign being HBCU graduates it is likely he will take an active approach to supporting HBCUs like Alcorn and their reach to the black youth of America.
4Ashley Robinson of Bennett College
It all mattered; we showed up and took control of our destinies. It all matters; every day is a constant progression, and we must continue writing our stories.
5Kortney Wells of Bowie State University
It is amazing to witness and be a part of history. It has been made clear the power within the Black Vote and Black women. However, this is just the start. We have to continue to use our voices, our power and hold our government officials accountable. We MUST keep this momentum for midterms and primary elections and every opportunity for civic engagement to ensure that we are truly heard and engaged in the things that affect our people, this nation and generations to come.
6Marquel Sanders of Claflin University
We have come this far by what was paved for us. He is able to continue a legacy that could possibly change the country that we live in. This doesn’t mean we can now put ourselves in neutral, we must continue to be able to push the agenda to save our families and our communities.
7Alake Jacobs of Clark Atlanta University
I think this is a defining moment for the future of HBCUs nationwide. President Biden has continuously kept us in the conversation and the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President further shows the world our value as a people and that an HBCU education can take you anywhere.
8Essence Bennett of Coppin State University
Yes, the election is over. However, our fight? Not so much. There are still social, racial, and political injustices occurring within our nation. We are on the right path, but we must continue to be agents of change for our communities and for our people.
9Tess Aguiar of Delaware State University
As a graduating senior at my beloved HBCU, Delaware State University, I am grateful for my experience for I was able to acquire a culturally responsive education. Furthermore, I recognize that racism is very much still alive and present within our country. Therefore, as President of Student Government Association I am excited to support my university in this revolutionary time. While I am happy that our country has decided to take a step in the forward direction, let it be known, that there is still a lot of justice to be served, and we will hold our elected officials accountable like never before. But for now, let’s celebrate.
10Traelon Tyler of Dillard University
This is a step in the right direction for the moral compass of our nation. This does not mean we have arrived, it simply means that we have decided to give our democracy a fighting chance. Now is the time to push our agenda forward until the world we hope for becomes reality.
11Alliah Wright of University of the District of Columbia
This election determined what the future of many college students would look like. The results have showcased how powerful black voices are and how we can make the change we want to see. For too long, we have sat watching the system fight against, holding our leaders accountable for what they have promised, is the next step. I look forward to seeing a unified America that provides equity and inclusion for all, no matter gender, sexual orientation , immigration status, criminal records and race. The fight continues until the issues of black and brown folks are made important in this country.
12Jimmy Chambers of Elizabeth City State University
While this win was a huge step in the right direction for this country, this was just a small win in the war. Please don’t forget how important local elections are as well.
13Sydney Harris of Fayetteville State University
The Biden Harris win is a revolutionary change for our generation. This showed us the power of voting, unity, and the result of what happens if you don’t.
In closing, the HBCU Buzz team is reminded of a great quote from one of our beloved former presidents, who is Barack Obama, which is this: “Change is never easy, but always possible.” And thus we see that without HBCU alumni and students like you, this key Biden-Harris win would not be possible. Also, it is all the more reason to be the change that you want to see.
Kamala’s individual and personal win as the first graduate of a black college to become vice president of the United States inspires us HBCU alumni and students to shoot for the stars. We all can do better and be better. Let us make a serious effort to just do this little by little each day, playing our role, whatever that may be in life, and in so doing creating a more perfect union under what seems to be a more civil Biden-Harris leadership.
14Andreas Nelson of Fisk University
Congratulations to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris. Our generation, young Millennials and Gen Zs arose to the call in this election and we are expecting the same from the Biden-Harris administration. In order for their pledge to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to be successful “we” must be at the table and be apart of the process. When I speak of “we” I am talking about my fellow SGA presidents, SGA administrations and other student leaders. There’s a lot of work to be done and we are ready for some “Good Trouble.”
15Xavier McClinton of Florida A&M University
The work doesn’t stop here! It’s great to have an HBCU alum in the White House who understands our value and role in this country, but now we have to hold them accountable for their “Lift Every Voice Plan” specifically their promise for $70B of investments into HBCUs over the next four years.
16Alexander Lowe of Fort Valley State University
This election has been a first for many of us college students. I commend my peers for participating in the stake of our country. As the election winds down and we transition into this next 4 year period, I ask that we remain just as vigilant to the decisions made by our leaders. We need to be vocal and active to construct a country better for us all.
17Milton Jackson of Grambling State University
This is only the beginning for us as leaders and students. We as HBCUs came and did what needed to be done. Leaders must remain humble and dedicated to their roles and student body to continue growth & more change amongst the United States of America.
18Austin Sams of Hampton University
This election has been monumental for many college students. Personally, I believe that the inauguration of President-Elect Biden and Vice-President Elect Harris is a reflection of the progress that is being made in our country and the work that still needs to be done. As we transition into this next 4 years, I encourage my peers to remain vigilant of the decisions made by our elected leaders. We must remain vocal and active to build a better country and future for us all.
19Rachel Howell of Howard University
Under the leadership of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President- Elect Kamala Harris, I hope there will be more security for HBCUs and our students. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris is the perfect example of just how powerful a degree from Howard University is.
20Jacori Daniels of Jackson State University
It’s time for a change in America and I feel that he will be the change we need in the positive direction!
21Kirk Miller of Kentucky State University
Biden is certainly a victory from our last President and Harris is nothing less than historic but our campus will not fully thrive until we have a Senator, Attorney General, Mayor, and Councilmembers that want to change the policies and procedures that will allow our institution and community to grow to its fullest potential. Moving forward and beyond, we will be politically charged on all levels to ensure quality change. That is how we will thrive.
22Jada Meads of Langston University
Having Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris the first African American woman as a Vice President will be a huge inspiration for not only the women on Langston University’s campus but for black women [in] generations to come. This is a positive step towards democracy and as the year continues we will push forward towards the future.
23Sainna Christian of Lemoyne-Owen College
This feels like a signaling of imminent change; an acknowledgement that things have been grossly mishandled over the past 4 years. A Biden presidency is an opportunity for America and Americans to hopefully start the healing process. It is a chance to walk away from the bigotry and hatred that has clouded the country for the past 4 years and to walk towards unity.
24Jamal Clark of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
Growing up in a single parent household in Philadelphia, I prayed for times where our nation would be under an administration with a plan. I am confident that the Biden-Harris administration will help us prevail. I am extremely excited for what this administration will bring.
25Carlee Patterson of Livingstone College
If this election here didn’t make a statement from us college students, especially HBCUs students, then I guess you will have to wait and watch our next move. This is OUR future OUR country and WE will continue to fight for it. This was just one big mystery we decided to fulfill, stay tuned!
26Michael Amo of University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Today is a tremendous day for our country’s democracy. The repudiation of bias and suppression through mass voter participation signifies the importance of every vote to include that of the disenfranchised. It is with this pivotal moment, that we (my fellow students and I) must be continuously aware of how important our vigilance and integrity is necessary to continue the perpetual fight to achieve the fulfillment of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for every citizen. We must take on the eternal fight for democracy by utilizing our right to vote in every election to ensure that our place in history is cemented.
27Cameron Markell Nolan of Morehouse College
The nation has placed an immense amount of pressure on you to move towards progressiveness. Never forget those marginalized voices that echoed loud enough so that your presidency dream could become a reality.
28Alex Freeman of Morgan State University
With Morgan State University being a voting center this year, our state put their trust in our HBCU. We came out, we voted and in return, we are putting our trust in you President Biden and VP Harris. We aren’t asking for more than PWIs, we simply want equity, in fundings, in rights, and in justice.
29Jeremiah O’Bryant of Norfolk State University
We selected you as our leader for the next four years. As President, we must push our initiatives and continue to fight for the people who voted us in office. I am entrusting in you to move this country forward. The work starts now.
30Brenda Claire Caldwell of North Carolina A&T State University
Joe Biden winning the presidency isn’t going to magically fix all of the issues plaguing our community. However, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to work alongside his administration to better the lives of Black and brown people and elevate our Historically Black Colleges and Universities on a national level.
31Shaun Coleman of North Carolina Central University
I believe the Biden-Harris win is definitely a great accomplishment in the favor of all American people. Their win was a product of the American people pushing through, together which I believe will push Biden and Harris even more to do amazing work for us as citizens and surely HBCUs.
32Keilan Patterson of Philander Smith College
This was a great first step in the right direction. We will continue to push forward to advance and help implement changes all across the nation. We will also continue to thrive and excel while advocating for what is right among all HBCUs!
33Alanna Gaskin of Prairie View A&M University
Today we celebrate, however tomorrow we begin to work. We will hold our elected officials accountable for their campaign promises. We ensure that the silenced are no longer silenced. This represents a step in the right direction of positive progressive change in America.
34Khayree Hassan of Savannah State University
This country deserves stability. The students of this University want a president who has a plan, the motivation, and the moral aptitude that a leader must have. We believe that’s what we will get with Joe Biden as our President. Now that president-elect Biden has been named victorious, the students of Savannah State will fully be able to rely on a leader who is for the people of this nation ,and ready to move our country out of this crisis.
35Javonni Ayers of South Carolina State University
Congratulations to the newly elected President and Vice President. I look forward to holding them accountable to the promises made on the campaign trail. Even more so I look forward to partnering with them to ensure college students are able to benefit from their term. Especially HBCU students.
36Chandler Vidrine of Southern University
This election season was very fraught and idiosyncratic for many of us young voters, and now that President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris has succeeded this race, I am proud of the actions and initiatives we have all taken to use our voices through voting. Although we elect people into positions, it is still up to us to continue to be the change agents our nation needs. It is truly a blessing that we are all granted the rights to be that change. As an SGA President at an HBCU, it is critical that I advocate and champion for our students the best way possible to ensure that we succeed academically, socially, and thrive to greatness, and I will continue to do that no matter the circumstance.
37Fana Ruth HaileSelassie of Spelman College
Indeed a victory for communities of color across the globe, the historical significance of this election should not be lost amongst us but instead encourage us to continue advocating for progressive reforms and to hold both President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris accountable in initiating these reforms.
38Jamal Hairston of Talladega College
America has made a turn for the better! We must start somewhere and electing Biden Harris is going to give future generations HOPE!! America can begin to breathe.
39Dominique Davis of Tennessee State University
President-Elect Joe Biden reminded us to Keep the Faith! Though I believe this victory is what our country so desperately needed, we must remember we have only scratched the surface. The fight for equity and equality does not stop here. We have to continue mobilizing & educating individuals within our communities to properly prepare for elections in the future. Now is the time to hold not only our newly elected President accountable but all elected officials accountable to ensure each individual fulfills their position and promises. Faith will carry us through these unprecedented times. As an HBCU student I’m certain that my peers across the nation believe this to be true.
40Khaniya Burley of Texas Southern University
Joe Biden & Kamala Harris are the duo that is going to put this country back on track. With a President who served under the Obama administration and helped implement policies that were ultimately beneficial to the American People, and with a Diligent, Hard working VP who will make history as the First African American/Indian Female Vice President to serve this country, this country will move into being a more progressive and forward thinking Nation and ultimately mend the divide that we are currently witnessing. As a Black Woman and A Leading Female, watching this history unfold and being apart of it is truly something unforgettable. Watching my generation take this election into their own hands and exercise their right to vote gives me hope in the future. The Youth of this country really took a stand to ensure that their voices were heard this go round and we did everything in our power to inform and educate our peers on the importance of voting to get to this moment. Through a Pandemic, Racially Divided country and all the other Adversity 2020 threw at us, We prevailed. By the Grace of God, We Prevailed.
41A’mon Haynes of Tougaloo College
It is so exciting to be part of such a historic moment in America’s history. I believe in a future where this will be the beginning of prosperity for more Americans, and more prosperous changes that will benefit Black people (and other minorities) are forthcoming.
42Cedric Davis of Tuskegee University
Joe Biden winning the presidency is a true testament of how strong our People are when we band together to make a change. When we come together for the common good and set aside our differences, we can and will reach any goal. Possibly a very big one to be achieved once again in the eyes of morality.
43Kameron Gray of Virginia State University
We have celebrated a milestone in history and I applaud each and everyone of you for executing your voting strategy. We have to continue to stay involved and apply pressure. We have to hold all elected officials responsible for the actions that were promised during the campaign. Legislation and accountability begins with us.
44Zedan Martin of West Virginia State University
We have heard, seen and experienced firsthand on a plethora of occasions as the upper echelons of society sugarcoated their true intentions. With the triumphant victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President- elect Kamala Harris, the West Virginia State University family sends our sincerest congratulations. We will continue to hold the administration of the 46th president of the United States accountable of its promises. We will also stay true to our course in the continued fight against racial injustice.
45Bobbie Newell Jr. of Virginia Union University
..this entire year we’ve seen citizens voting, protesting, fighting for the cause. The work doesn’t stop here there is more work to be done but it is a step in the right direction.
46Emmanuel Ukot of Xavier University of Louisiana
Just as it was possible for an African American man to win the presidency twice supported by Joe Biden, it is now possible for Joe Biden to win the presidential election supported by the first South Asian-American senator in history and the first Black woman and Asian American to run on a major party ticket. As this is the first time that many students are voting for the first time, our campus would be ignited by the fact that our voices were heard and our votes actually shifted the direction of the country on a local, statewide, and national level.