U.S. Education Secretary to Deliver Remarks at White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Annual Conference

  • twitter
  • Facebook
  • google+

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will give luncheon remarks at the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities' (HBCUs) National HBCU Week annual conference on Monday, Sept. 21, in Washington, D.C. He will discuss the enduring and evolving roles of HBCUs at the "Reach Higher" luncheon. In addition, he will encourage HBCUs to continue to be known not just for their storied alumni but for leading the way for all institutions in educating and graduating African-American college students.

The White House Initiative on HBCUs, with the support of the U.S. Department of Education, will convene its annual national conference Sept. 21-22. The theme for this year's conference is "HBCUs: Innovators for Future Success." The conference will commemorate National HBCU Week and highlight the significant contributions that HBCUs have made to the nation. More than 1,200 participants, including HBCU presidents and chancellors, are registered to attend this year's conference. Ivory Toldson, acting executive director of the Initiative, will direct the conference. (George Cooper was the executive director until he passed away in July 2015.)

In addition to Duncan, other senior officials will participate in the conference. David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, will moderate an afternoon panel at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, which will address the need for more partnerships, beginning in pre-K and continuing through postsecondary education, that will increase the number of African Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classroom courses and careers. The panelists also will discuss proven and promising practices for building and sustaining STEM programs. In addition, panelists will highlight the ways HBCUs are leading efforts to prepare African-American students to meet the educational and professional demands of the global workforce.

The White House Initiative on HBCUs works with the White House; 32 federal agencies; and the private, corporate, and philanthropic sectors to ensure that HBCUs are a significant force in helping the nation reach President Obama's goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.

Please see here for the two-day national conference agenda. Reporters wishing to attend the conference should RSVP to [email protected].