Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is focusing on Black education and success as part of his Build Back Better proposal; offering free tuition to HBCUs.
According to Essence, Biden’s campaign released a statement saying the former vice president is determined to have an economy where “every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead. An economy more vibrant and more powerful precisely because everybody will be included in the deal.”
Biden’s campaign also addressed how Black Americans and minorities are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to significant healthcare disadvantages, Black unemployment is at 15.4%, and Black-owned businesses are closing down at an alarming rate.
To help Black Americans, Biden’s plan will include students receiving tuition-free access to four-year, public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions if their families earn below $125,000.
“Stark racial disparities exist at every stage of our education system,” the campaign noted. As President, Biden promises that significant investments will be made to even the playing field for communities so often left behind.
Senator and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris praised Biden’s proposal as a step in the right direction.
“This plan that Joe Biden is offering around dealing with racial disparity in the economy is a very important step because he is his acknowledging that racial equities have to be a part of the priority,” Harris told Black Enterprise.
Harris added that 90% of Black Americans take out student loans to attend college, putting them in a large hole of debt the second they walk on campus. Under Biden’s plan, those students will not only get free education but will have the financial freedom to live out their dreams instead of spending the rest of their lives trying to pay back a debt.
Biden’s plan also includes allocating $150 billion to be invested in minority businesses, a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, the elimination of cash bail, and temporary housing for formerly incarcerated people upon release from prison.