The Rev. Al Sharpton, in a piece for the Huffington Post, says that President Obama's executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans proves that he's leading the charge to combat the greatest civil rights challenge of our time.

The Executive Order creates a presidential commission on educational development for black students, and only strengthens his 2010 Executive Order to bolster the nations' Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that suffered extensively from decreased funding due to state's budgetary challenges.

For far too long, one's birthplace in this country has determined what sort of education he/she would receive and the likelihood that he/she would be able to pursue a higher education. In too many urban areas like Chicago for example, simply making it to school is a challenge, as the threat of violence overtakes certain neighborhoods. And when a child does make it to school in these disturbing environments, they often receive questionable education from schools that are lacking in resources and quality teachers. The chances of this very child going to college (let alone graduating high school) becomes slim to none. Without an education, job opportunities grow increasingly limited, and this individual is then often forced to do whatever is necessary to survive — even if it is illegal. It's a vicious cycle that we as a nation MUST break. And education is the one equalizer that can effect the most change.

Read the Rev. Al Sharpton's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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