Supporting Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) is a most important part of my work as a Member of the House Education and Labor Committee. My District is home to the nation’s oldest HBCU, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. HBCUs have historically served as educational centers of excellence, and provided in the past critical opportunities for African American students at a time when there were limited institutions African Americans could attend. This is why we must address the financial, infrastructure, and staffing challenges that HBCUs face today because they still serve a critical role for a significant part of our population that is often disenfranchised from educational opportunities elsewhere.

But while we must take advantage of the history of excellence of HBCUs, we must do so in a way that combines new efforts for these colleges and universities to address its issues and challenges in a cohesive way with federal, state, local, and private partners including businesses.

As the opportunities expanded for African Americans’ access to all colleges and universities, the traditional pool of “recruits