Kamala Harris being nominated to be on a major party ticket is a monumental moment for everybody, especially people who; are currently, will attend, or have attended an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Oftentimes there are debates on whether an HBCU can prepare a student for the real world in the same way that a PWI can. An HBCU is a historically black college or university and was formed because of the disadvantages black people faced to get a higher education during segregation. HBCUs, especially Kamala Harris’s alma mater, provide students with many resources to be a minority and go out and be well prepared for the real world. An HBCU education is unique in a way that it provides students of color an opportunity to learn more about themselves and build them up to be strong and conquer their desired field of work. Kamala Harris got her undergraduate degree at HBCU Howard University. This will give minorities, especially black kids, more representation and them knowing they can have someone who looks like them in such a high office. Kamala Harris is the first HBCU grad to be selected for such an honor. This is extremely important in the sense that at this time many HBCUs are struggling. If Kamala does become the Vice President that would be an eye-opener to America on how black colleges have played a role in the shaping of some of the most powerful and influential people in this country.
In recent history, presidential and vice-presidential candidates have mostly graduated from a handful of the same schools, them all being predominantly white institutions(PWI’s). This is monumental and huge for HBCUs to be possibly represented at the highest levels of the federal government. These schools have already seen an enrollment bump in the past three years leading up to 2019 in part because of the racial tension at predominantly white institutions and recent public displays of racism. Also, with the black lives matter movement being prominent at this time a lot of black young Americans are considering black colleges. Only time will tell if this provides a boost in enrollment at HBCUs, however it is likely that the Biden-Harris ticket will be leaning on the schools, their students, and alumni as their campaign. There are hopes that this nomination will be an opportunity to raise awareness and donations for HBCUs.
The Biden campaign launched the HBCUs Biden initiative aimed at gaining support among black voters,this is co-chaired by three current HBCU students. The plan folds in more than $70 billion in additional funding for black colleges and universities which is a considerable amount compared to the median endowment of $12 million that these institutions are currently generating. In this plan, $10 billion will go toward funding retention, enrollment, and job placement for alumni. Joe Biden has also proposed free tuition for the public HBCU’s as part of his “build back better” plan. Members of the Howard network maintain that the unique political and cultural education at the university offers to set the standard for their success as black leaders in America.
After developing a reputation in California for her history with crime, Harris has shifted her approach to criminal justice in recent years. She has sponsored a number of pieces of criminal reform legislation alongside her colleagues during her career as a senator. Harris has also co-authored justice in the policing act, which aims to standardize police force tactics and independently instances of misconduct. HBCUs for Biden remain active and have hosted events for the campaign since the announcement of Harris vice presidential selection, HBCU grads, in particular, remain an untapped resource for campaigning and fundraising. Biden’s campaign director of strategic communications said in a statement that Biden and Harris recognize “the significant role that black colleges and universities play in our society” and that “America can expect that the Biden-Harris administration is committed to ensuring a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future for these storied institutions”. The director also states that the campaign plans to continue the expansion reaching the HBCUs support for Biden by utilizing Harris’ connection to the HBCU community.