GREENSBORO, N.C. — The importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities can be felt all across the Triad and the state of North Carolina.
North Carolina A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University, and Bennett College produce some of the most sought-after talents in our area, and Washington, D.C., and President Joe Biden have taken notice.
Students from our three local HBCUs spoke at length with the White House's HBCU Initiative Team. In those discussions, they shared challenges they face as HBCU students. The goal is to make sure that future generations of HBCU grads are set up to make a positive impact after graduation.
Dr. Dietra Trent is the Director of the White House HBCU Initiative, an alum of Hampton University, she understands the importance of these schools having federal support.
"I think the important thing to us is to make sure HBCUs have an opportunity to participate in our federally sponsored programs, so a large part of what I do is make sure that I am working with our agencies to remove barriers."
Zauria Murphy, Bennett Class of 2022, experienced a lot of those barriers during her four years of undergrad.
"Being able to tell them exactly what I experienced at my institution, what they can provide for my institution, what I've gained so far being here, and what I will bring back in the future as well," Murphy said.
The initiative helps with funding, scholarships, research projects, grants, and campus infrastructure. Trent says it's all about bridging the gap between the White House and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
"A large part of this administration's support is they recognize when we are supporting HBCUs, we support our future," Trent said.
Trent said, that it is expected that Biden will have additional funding for HBCUs in his upcoming budget proposal.