Several senior officials, including White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, will speak at the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ two-day national conference commemorating National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week. This year’s conference, “HBCUs: Engaging the World Anew,” is at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature variety of panel discussions, breakout sessions and speeches focusing on a range of topics, including international affairs, honors programs, minority presence in the workforce, technology and innovation, working with small businesses, and developing partnerships.
On Monday, Sept. 19, John S. Wilson, the executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, will open the conference at 8:45 a.m., followed by a keynote address from Jarrett, who will discuss the importance of HBCUs in the Obama Administration’s education agenda and how their work helps to drive reform.
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Duncan will deliver the lunchtime keynote at 12:30 p.m. and address the key role that HBCUs play in helping America reach President Obama’s goal of leading the world in college completion by 2020. He will also commend the progress that HBCUs have made and encourage them to continue working to prepare students for jobs of the future to ensure that America has a robust, well educated workforce.