A Proclamation on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2022
Historically, black colleges and universities (HBCUs) help prepare their students to excel in all professions, and they encourage transformative movements for greater justice and equality in our democracy. During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we celebrate HBCUs for their long-standing legacy as pioneers, visionaries, and public servants; for enabling students to make immense contributions to this country as black professionals and business people; and for bringing us closer to the promise of an America for all Americans.
The HBCUs produced 40% of all black engineers and 50% of all black lawyers in America. Seventy percent of our country’s black doctors have attended an HBCU, and 80 percent of black judges are alumni of those schools. From the Fisk Jubilee Singers who performed for Queen Victoria, to the female mathematicians who provided critical intelligence to NASA’s first human spaceflights, to the brilliant jurists who helped dismantle structural segregation, and so many giants of the civil rights movement who have dedicated their lives to uplifting the rights and dignity of all Americans, HBCUs have enabled graduates to shape America’s cultural identity, write our national history, and safeguard the most fundamental values of this country. Our historic Vice President Kamala Harris is a graduate of the HBCU, as well as Michael Regan, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
My administration is helping HBCUs overcome the pandemic and make tuition more affordable for their students to continue this legacy of excellence and inclusion. Since taking office, we have invested a historic $5.8 billion to support the staffing, teaching and campus operations of these institutions. This includes providing HBCU students with emergency financial aid during the pandemic and canceling more than $1.6 billion in debt held by nearly half of all HBCUs to help fund them. infrastructure improvement projects. This summer, I announced debt relief of up to $20,000 for low- and middle-income borrowers with federal student loans, easing the burden of student debt for so many students and HBCU alumni. Students also have more financial resources because my administration increased the maximum Pell Grant from $400 to $6,895 — the largest increase in more than a decade — helping 75% of students enrolled in HBCUs pay for their education. . Additionally, I re-established the President’s Advisory Council on HBCUs to connect these schools with the private sector, and we launched a White House initiative to help HBCUs secure additional federal funding. Additionally, I offer landmark investment to create and grow HBCU programs in areas such as cybersecurity, engineering, and healthcare.
This is just the beginning of my administration’s campaign to hold HBCUs accountable and expand their ability to make even greater contributions to our society. This week and every week, we celebrate HBCUs for helping to make this country stronger and more inclusive, and we continue to champion and build on the ongoing achievements of these institutions – because we know that when they succeed, the succeeds.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the period from September 18 to September 24, 2022, as National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I call on educators, public servants, professional organizations, businesses, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that recognize the countless contributions these institutions and their alumni have made to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this
September sixteenth of the year of grace two thousand and twenty-two, and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-seven.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.