White House to host National HBCU Week Conference

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a White House news conference on June 30. He announced that the White House will host the National HBCU Week Conference. File Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The Biden administration said Wednesday it will host the 2023 National HBCU Week Conference in Arlington, Va., Sept. 24-28.

HBCU, the acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is the country's leading conference that draws top leaders and influencers connected with the institutions. Vice President Kamala Harris is a graduate of Howard University, an HBCU.

"Historically Black Colleges and Universities have embodied leadership, excellence, and innovation for centuries, continually punching above their weight and producing barrier-breaking graduates in every field imaginable," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

"President Biden's support for HBCUs has resulted in record investments in these institutions, and our National HBCU Week Conference gives higher education leaders, public officials, advocates and outside partners an opportunity to build on this momentum."

The White House announced its 12th Project School Emergency Response to Violence grant to New Orleans' Dillard University to address bomb threats the school received.

Dillard was awarded more than $287,000 to hire two full-time mental health counselors to support university community members who are still managing anxiety following the incident.

In January, North Carolina Central University, Philander Smith College and Hampton University received Project School Emergency Response to Violence grants after they were the targets of bomb threats in 2021.

The HBCU Week provides administrators, faculty, and students an opportunity to meet and interact with key leaders, including federal agency officials and financial executives, private sector representatives and business professionals, and financial aid executives.

The National HBCU Week Conference is coordinated by the White House Initiative on HBCUs in close consultation with the Executive Office of the President and the U.S. Department of Education.

Presentations will be made by several departments, including Education, Commerce, Energy, Defense and State.