President Joe Biden is headed to the nation’s largest historically Black college and university this week to deliver remarks on his efforts to fight inflation.
Biden will deliver his remarks on Thursday in Greensboro at North Carolina A&T State University, a source familiar with the visit told McClatchy. N.C. A&T has the largest student population of any HBCU in the country.
The White House did not immediately provide comment.
It previously said in a Bureau of Labor Statistics’ statement that Biden would visit Greensboro this week to “discuss his Administration’s efforts to make more in America, rebuild our supply chains here at home, and bring down costs for the American people as part of Building a Better America.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing last Friday that she did not have additional details on the trip to share, in response to a question about Greensboro’s two HBCUs and the possibility of a Biden visit to either one of them.
Greensboro is also home to Bennett College, a private liberal arts HBCU for women.
Biden’s visit to N.C. A&T will be his third stop at a historically Black college or university since taking office. Last December, he attended South Carolina State University’s fall commencement ceremony in Orangeburg. He delivered a speech on voting rights earlier this year, in January, at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia.
The president’s trip sends “a very positive message” to the HBCU community, said Thurgood Marshall College Fund President Harry Williams.
“He has been very transparent in his commitment to HBCUs,” Williams said. “This sends a very clear message of his consistent engagement with HBCUs and not just for photo ops.”
More than a third of the 101 schools that are considered HBCUs have received bomb threats and other threats of violence since the start of the year. The FBI says it is investigating the menacing acts.
The Department of Education said in March that it would work to send grant money to schools that have been targeted, and Biden in his annual budget asked Congress to set aside an additional $65 million in funding for Black colleges.
Biden also asked Congress to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $2,000, which HBCU advocates say would lower costs for many students who attend those institutions. This month the president separately sought to ease the financial strain on Americans who borrowed money for school by extending a pause on federal student loan repayments through the end of August.
Inflation and the economy are urgent priorities for most Americans. Newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Consumer Price Index increased by 8.5% in March from a year prior — the biggest spike in inflation in roughly 40 years.
The president’s trip to Greensboro on Thursday follows a visit to Menlo, Iowa, on Tuesday to talk about his administration’s attempts to lower costs for low- and middle-income families.
Biden lost Iowa and North Carolina when he competed for the presidency. Both states have Senate seats on the ballot this fall, which are currently filled by Republicans. Democrats are hoping to flip the North Carolina seat, in particular. It is held at present by retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
Biden’s approval rating in the state is lower than his national average. He had a 35% approval rating in North Carolina and a 53% disapproval rating in a High Point University Poll released last week.
His approval ratings on inflation, 19%, and gas prices, 18%, were especially low in the survey, which had a margin of error of 3.5%.