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House of Representatives passes the HBCU PARTNERS ACT TMCF encourages the US Senate to pass right away

WASHINGTON, DC (December 7, 2020) – For over two years, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Government Relations team has taken the lead working with key members of Congress, their respective staffs and the Trump Administration to finally codify the aspirational goals that have been contained in Executive Orders since the Carter Administration to facilitate greater engagement between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and federal agencies. Today the United States House of Representatives took a major step towards achieving this consequential goal by passing the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act (HBCU PARTNERS Act).

The HBCU PARTNERS Act requires federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to, on an annual basis, develop plans to expand the participation of HBCUs in their agency activities and track their progress towards engagement-related goals. The legislation will also give Congress oversight over the respective agency plans to help ensure that the agencies are, ultimately, maintaining fidelity with their goals for HBCU engagement. ”

Today’s vote by the House of Representatives to pass the HBCU PARTNERS Act, provides yet another example of Congress recognizing the critical role that HBCUs play in educating our Nation’s next generation of teachers, entrepreneurs and leaders, and its continued commitment to helping ensure that HBCUs not only survive, but thrive,” said TMCF President and CEO Harry L. Williams.

“TMCF expresses its profound appreciation to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) and Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) and their staffs for their efforts in the House of Representatives, as well as Senator Tim Scott (RSC), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and their staffs for their commitment to pull this bill across the finish line in the Senate.” “Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play a critical role in expanding access to higher education for low-income students and students of color, and it’s past time we ensure these institutions have the robust federal support they need,” said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott.

“The HBCU PARTNERS Act is bipartisan legislation that requires federal agencies to strategically invest in HBCUs. I am grateful for my colleague Congresswoman Adams and her steadfast leadership on this issue, and I thank the leaders of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for their invaluable support and advocacy on behalf of HBCU students and educators across the country.” “HBCUs are agents of access and equity in this country,” said bill sponsor Congresswoman Alma Adams.

“The HBCU PARTNERS Act recognizes these contributions in the most important way possible: by affording these institutions the ongoing support and investment needed to deepen their transformational work. This legislation will require every administration and the federal agencies it manages to plan and coordinate, on an annual basis, their efforts to strategically engage with and invest in HBCUs. In addition, it codifies the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, ensuring an ongoing avenue for HBCU priorities and policy concerns to be raised and addressed.

Advancing the mission of HBCUs and the success of the communities they serve must be on the minds of our country’s leaders, and more importantly, it must be part of their agendas.” “Thank you to my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, as well all of the various HBCU advocacy organizations, for their support in getting this bill passed. I know the roughly 300,000 students that HBCUs serve will benefit from our efforts,” Adams concluded.

“Creating a comprehensive federal partnership with America’s HBCUs is essential for Congress’ shared goal of directing unprecedented support for North Carolina’s HBCUs like North Carolina A&T, Winston-Salem State, Elizabeth City State, North Carolina Central, Bennett, Johnson C. Smith, and Shaw – proud and historic institutions which I am privileged to support,” commented bill co-sponsor Congressman Mark Walker.

“With this bipartisan legislation, the HBCU PARTNERS Act further cements our nation’s commitment to these vital educational institutions. TMCF looks forward to the quick passage of this bill by the United States Senate so it can be sent to President Trump for his signature. Note: Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO is available for further comment.