Biden appoints NBA star Chris Paul, actor Taraji P. Henson to HBCUs advisory board
President Biden said on Thursday he will appoint basketball star Chris Paul and actor Taraji P. Henson to the White House board of advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Paul, a point guard for the Phoenix Suns, is a twelve-time NBA All-Star, two-time Olympic Gold medalist, and recently ended an eight-year tenure as the President of the National Basketball Players Association.
He was given the 2016 ESPYs “Humanitarian of the Year” award and the 2022 inaugural Kobe and Gigi Bryant Advocacy Award for his contributions to the advancement of girls’ and women’s basketball.
Henson, best known for her role in the show “Empire,” recently launched TPH Entertainment and in 2016 and authored a bestselling novel, “Around The Way Girl.”
She launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 in honor of her late father, which gives scholarships to African-American students majoring in mental health, offers mental health services to youth in urban schools, and works to lower the recidivism rates of African-American men and women.
The board is tasked with advancing the goal of the of the HBCU Initiative, which dates back to the Carter Administration and aims to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to its students and continue serving as engines of opportunity.
Biden on Thursday also announced he will appoint to the board Makola Abdullah, the president of Virginia State University; Javaune Adams-Gaston, the president of Norfolk State University; Monica Goldson, CEO for Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Brett Hart, president of United Airlines.
Also among the appointees are Quinton Ross, president of Alabama State University; Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University, and Janeen Uzzell, CEO of the National Society of Black Engineers, among others.
Also on the list is Paige Blake, a college student at Bowie State University with a rare form of Sacral Agenesis, which is a form of Spina Bifida.
Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University and a longtime friend and ally of Biden’s, was named vice chair of the board in September.