100 Black Men Press Education Secretary for More HBCU Funding - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

0612_BLO100BlackMenAmericaLogoEducation was front and center at the 100 Black Men of America Inc.’s annual conference Thursday. At an education town hall meeting, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan recalled his experiences with the 100 Black Men’s Chicago Chapter during his term as the city’s public school superintendent.

“Instead of asking me what I could do for them. They always asked what they could do for me,” said Duncan.

This time was different, however. When the floor was opened to questions Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men, requested that Duncan consider reinstating $85 million that Congress had allocated to Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2007. The two-year funding commitment is scheduled to end in 2009.

“That was a two-year funding cycle that ended, but we’re looking to help out in some other ways,” said Duncan in an interview with BlackEnterprise.com before the town hall. He pointed out that there are proposed increases for HBCUs in the fiscal year 2010 budget that President Barack Obama administration has submitted.

“We’ve also done some things to increase access to capital on their campuses,” said Duncan. “HBCU’s are so important to me for a number of different reasons. One big reason is that 50% of our African American teachers around the country come from HBCU’s.”

Nevertheless, conference attendees said that their organization should be persistent in writing Congress and pressing the administration to do more for HBCUs.

“[The lost funding] was a critical piece for the survival of HBCUs,” said Col. Edward Brown, a member of the 100 Black Men of America’s Educational Programs Committee,” They are already at the bare bottom in terms of necessities and funds so when you take away something of this nature in a time when funds are already short you are really killing the institution.”

Duncan added that “Going forward I think that the role of HBCU’s is going to be extraordinarily important as more and more young people go to college.”

It is great that Duncan stands in support of HBCU’s and their potential to educate the nation, but there may not be a “going forward” for some HBCUs if there isn’t any funding now.

Marcia A. Wade is the reporter for BlackEnterprise.com

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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