President Donald Trump meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s historically black colleges and universities are pushing for President Donald Trump to set aside more federal contracts and grants for their schools, and take a greater hand in their welfare by moving responsibility for a key program for those colleges to the White House.

The presidents of the nation’s 100-plus HBCUs, pressing their case for greater attention from the new Republican-controlled government, met with Trump briefly in the Oval Office and later with Vice President Mike Pence. On Tuesday, they planned to meet with GOP lawmakers.

“Know that beginning today, this administration is committed to ensuring that historically black colleges and universities get the credit and the attention they deserve,” Pence said after the meeting. “Our administration at the president’s direction is working to find new ways to expand your impact so that more students, especially in the underserved communities of this country, have a chance at a quality education.”

The college presidents, as well as the United Negro College Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and other HBCU advocates, planned to express their support for migrating the White House Initiative on HBCUs from the Education Department to the White House itself.

Such a move would give the initiative “greater impact for our institutions,” said Johnny Taylor, head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit organization which has supported public historically black colleges and universities since 1987.

“Anything that the Trump administration could do to channel more federal dollars in form of grants and contracts to and through the HBCUs would really benefit our institutions and in many cases, our communities, as well,” said Mickey L. Burnim, president of Bowie State University, in Bowie, Md.

There were more than 231,000 students enrolled at black colleges and universities in 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Almost 80 percent were black.

Total HBCU enrollment declined from 326,614 to 294,316 between 2010-2014, according to the latest information available from National Center for Education Statistics. The percentage of black college students attending a historically black college or university also dropped from 18 percent of the overall total in 1976 to 8 percent in 2014.

Trump got 8 percent of the African-American vote in his presidential election.

The UNCF and the Marshall fund also have been lobbying for the new president to devote some direct attention to the well-being of HBCUs. Trump is expected to soon release an executive order aimed at helping black colleges and universities. One of Trump’s most visible African-American aides, Omarosa Manigault, holds degrees from two of these colleges: Central State University in Ohio and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the White House would likely “look at the various resources throughout the federal government that support HBCUs.”

He said they may look to ensure “there’s a direct pipeline to the president of the United States that those programs are being executed in a way that’s benefiting the future of HBCUs and the various projects and teaching that goes on there.”

It is time for HBCUs to have a more robust discussion with Republicans, Taylor said. In the past, HBCUs leaned heavily on the heavily-Democratic Congressional Black Caucus to defend them in Washington. “In this environment, if you don’t have Republican support, you may not have any support at the federal level,” Taylor said.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said it was time for Republicans to step up to help majority-black colleges and universities. North Carolina has one of the nation’s largest HBCUs in North Carolina A&T University.

“We want our tone to match our work, and that means more than just an awareness or lip service,” said Walker, one of the lawmakers behind the meeting Tuesday between the HBCU presidents and the GOP. “We want our actions to speak just as loud.”

The CBC said it was ready to help the Trump administration push through help for the black colleges and universities. They suggested that, as a start, Trump should increase the maximum Pell Grant award for students and double the funding for Pell Grants, or provide two years of free tuition at HBCUs.

“We hope that you and your administration are serious about supporting these schools,” CBC chair Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., said in a letter to the White House. “The way to show that you are is to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Give these schools the resources and support they deserve and that they and the CBC are asking for.”

PHOTO: AP

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29 thoughts on “Photo Op Or Opportunity? HBCU Presidents Meet With Trump

  1. Mia.P on said:

    You all was used for a Photo Op he don’t give a fuck about our school or our people wake up Black People and fuck orange face ass trump

  2. I believe this was a wasted meeting with the HBCU Presidents, because just like DL Hughley said, “if he did not care about Trump University, what the hell you think he is going to care about our HBCU’s!?” It’s another one of his lies that he wants us to believe. Don’t continuously fall for the oakie-doakie. He is a total A.H.!

  3. FallMornings on said:

    These schools need money to sustain. If he is willing to meet whether it be a photo op or the real deal, so be it. Here’s an idea, why don’t we on this blog send money to HBCU’s. They really need our financial help.

  4. ResponsibilityInControl on said:

    Pure photo op for trump, I dont fault the HBCU leaders for trying at least however I do not believe that any improvements or gains will be received from this meeting.

  5. swife@gmail.com on said:

    Obama did nothing for Black people as a whole, you’re right. He did things that Black people can too benefit from, but NOTHING specifically for Black people like he did for gay people, transgender people, women, etc. However, Trump has no plans plans to do anything for Black people either. What’s worse is that he has a history of hurting Black people. He’s only appointed people to his cabinet with a history of hurting Black people. This is a photo opportunity and these coons are just playing along.

    • Virginia on said:

      People who speak and don’t know what they’re talking about get on my nerves. The Obama Administration did more for black people, and specifically for HBCUs than any other President in history. A FACT SHEET shows that ” Over the course of 7 years, the Obama Administration has invested more than $4 billion in HBCUs, because these institutions are vital engines of economic growth and proven ladders of advancement for generations of African Americans.” Do you have any idea how much a BILLION dollars is? Don’t believe it? Look it up.
      AND, since black students have actually be doing better and getting into more “traditional” colleges, enrollment is down at HBCUs. So, I’m not saying that HBCUs don’t need more support to improve, but Don’t blame that on Pres. Obama. They got more from him than they’ll get from this clown.

  6. Chump is as PHONY AS A THREE DOLLAR BILL!!!!

    So where is the photo of that horse faced b–ch Kellyann at this same meeting, sitting down texting away on her cellphone???????

    I will be so damn glad when this Fool and his entourage are IMPEACHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Okay, he had The opportunity to be seen with blk ppl. And? I don’t care how many times he’s seen with blks. He’s a racsit. A leopard never change it’s spots. Period. He has a pass against blks that will never be forgotten. NEVER!!!!!

  7. If a Republican doesn’t do something, people complain. If a Republican does do something, people complain. Make up your damn minds.

  8. More and more ppl finding out that they have been hoodwinked and bandboozled by this farce in Cheif. This clown is not really interested in helping the blk community. It’s difinetly a photo op. This clown has so many Russian ties, it’s disgraceful. We will be the laughing stock of the world. That’s why congress will never request his tax returns.

      • Shirley on said:

        Like what? Please list ALL the things he has done for Black people besides photo ops since January 20th.

      • Virginia on said:

        Like What? Pres. Obama took plenty of pictures with black people too. Even I can do that. Why don’t you do a search and find out what Pres. Obama actually did for black people in his 8 years. I think you’d be enlightened.
        So far, Trump has asked us “what do you have to lose?” THAT’s not enough.

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