President Donald Trump meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UNCF urges postponing White House HBCU conference

The United Negro College Fund wants to postpone next month’s conference between leaders of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities and the Trump administration until the White House takes some specific actions to show its commitment to the institutions.

The organization gave The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a two-page letter written Wednesday to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Andrew Bremberg, the White House domestic policy council director, making the request. The UNCF wrote it believes the conference should not be held until the Trump administration names a director of its White House Initiative on HBCUs and develops a “meaningful plan of action with concrete commitments to invest in and advance HBCUs.”

The letter was released as the Congressional Black Caucus called for cancelling the meeting.

Clark Atlanta University’s President Ronald A. Johnson said he does not plan to attend.

You can read about why the organizations are pushing back against the White House conference at

Ronald A. Johnson became Clark Atlanta University’s president in July 2015.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Many HBCU supporters said they remained skeptical about Trump’s commitment to HBCUs after he said in May a funding program for black college campuses may unconstitutionally allocate federal money on the basis of race.

Staff Writer Tamar Hallerman contributed to this report.

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