Given President Donald Trump’s recent interest in historically black colleges and universities and the rumored executive order supporting them, a group of Republican leaders plans to meet with HBCU heads in the coming weeks.
The Grio reports that the meeting will include GOP congressional members and Omarosa Manigault, who is supposed to be presenting the president with a draft of the HBCU-focused executive order.
The discussion, labeled a “fly-in,” will be co-hosted by Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who is white, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is African American. It will be held the same day as Trump’s first State of the Union address, Feb. 28.
Walker recently published video stating that his wife is a graduate of HBCU Winston-Salem State University and that he is personally invested in helping black colleges, according to HBCU Buzz.
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“We’re trying to bring people together and make connections. … It’s not to win anyone over; it’s to show that we care,” Walker’s spokesperson said.
Republican talking heads such as Paris Dennard, who was present at Trump’s Black History Month meeting, say that the Obama administration did not do enough for HBCUs and that enrollment declined based on changes to federal aid and loan policy.
However, according to the Department of Education, federal funding to HBCUs grew each year after Obama took office, to the tune of a $4 billion investment.
The Department of Education says that 1 million more African-American and Latino students enrolled in college under the Obama administration, though it is not clear whether those students of color went to HBCUs.
The Grio reports that at least 10 schools plan to attend the meeting, including Florida A&M University and Winston-Salem State University.