‘Promises made should just be kept’: Black colleges feel stung by Democrats

‘Promises made should just be kept’: Black colleges feel stung by Democrats


“We’re cutting our noses to bully us if we don’t invest in the assets that drive economic and social mobility,” said Dr. Perry, a senior fellow at Brookings, at a recent hearing of the House Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Investments.

dr. Perry noted that donations alone would not fill the existing gaps. The combined endowment for every HBCU in the country through 2019 was just over $3.9 billion, he said in his testimony. The New York University endowment that same year was $4.3 billion.

Representative Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, a graduate of Fisk University – an HBCU – and chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee, expressed hope for future legislation; she recently said she would introduce legislation to help students affected by the legacy of slavery cover the cost of attending an HBCU

“HBCUs have been underfunded for nearly two centuries,” she said, “and much greater investment is needed to correct the mistakes of the past.”

Institutional leaders who have waited decades for the next promise, the next bill, say time is of the essence.

The dorm room that Quinton T. Ross Jr., president of Alabama State University, lived in as a student is 58 years old — older than him. It is one of the newest on its campus; other buildings are over a century old.

Like many college presidents, Dr. Ross that the school will continue to do what it has always done: attract, retain, and serve students who could choose flashier options instead.

“If you don’t start in the same place, you always get behind,” he said, “and if there’s such a difference over time, you usually can’t catch up. Congress is about to have a great opportunity to right a wrong.”

Zolan Kanno Youngs and Emily Cochrane reporting contributed.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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