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Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus Hosts Second Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action

March 11, 2019

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. and the 86 Members of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus hosts the Second Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action on Capitol Hill. This annual event brings together education and industry leaders and Members of Congress for a collective day of advocacy for our nation’s more than 100 HBCUs and their 300,000 students.

During STEAM Day, the HBCU and industry coalition will meet with Republican and Democratic Members of Congress in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.  Together, they will advocate for greater resources for HBCUs and discuss best practices for building a well-prepared and diverse workforce. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees, House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity & Inclusion, Congressional Black Caucus, House Education and Labor Committee, House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will host meetings for the coalition. More than 40 Members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will participate in HBCU STEAM Day (full list below).

“UNCF and our member presidents are proud to participate in the second annual STEAM Day hosted by the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “I cannot stress enough the importance of bringing the HBCU community together with tech industry leaders to discuss ways to increase diversity in the workplace, create new potential partnerships, and increase awareness with Members of Congress. Co-chairs Alma Adams and Bradley Byrne got it right with the inaugural STEAM Day, and I know that this year’s event will be a success,” said UNCF President & CEO Michael Lomax.

“Thank you to Historically Black Colleges and University educators and administrators for strengthening our nation’s future by preparing young people for tomorrow’s innovation economy,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “HBCUs are engines of opportunity, educating the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Democrats remain committed to strengthening America’s HBCUs and ensuring students have access to the tools to succeed in the 21st Century. I applaud the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus for hosting HBCU STEAM Day and leading the push to ensure equal access to 21st century opportunities for all students.”

“HBCUs contribute nearly $15 billion to our annual economy and have provided pathways of opportunity to millions of Americans, many of whom are first generation college students. Despite being historically underfunded and under-resourced, these institutions continue to produce top talent.  42% of Black engineers and 47% of Black women engineers are HBCU graduates. Additionally, 40% of the Congressional Black Caucus graduated from an HBCU. I would not be in Congress today if not for the North Carolina A&T State University,” said Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.  “That is why HBCU STEAM Day is so important. It’s a day when HBCUs and their students come to Capitol Hill and advocate for greater resources – and they don’t come alone. They come with industry leaders who have made a commitment to creating strategic and sustainable partnerships with HBCUs.  There is no workplace diversity, especially within STEAM fields, without HBCUs. I am proud to host the Second Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action and to make clear to all in Congress that HBCUs matter.”

“The importance of HBCUs on our nation’s history and future is something we can never fully measure. Through the STEAM Day of Action, we are bringing together stakeholders from across the country to highlight opportunities for our nation’s HBCUs and their students,” said Congressman Bradley Byrne, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

“HBCUs are a vital part of not just our nation’s higher education system, but of the American Dream. These institutions graduate roughly one-third of all African American STEM degree holders, building a valuable, diverse talent pipeline to twenty-first century opportunities. HBCU STEAM Day provides us with a useful opportunity to forge partnerships between HBCUs, industry leaders, and elected officials to create strategic engagements and sustainable investments in HBCUs and their students,” said Senator Cory Booker.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are an important part of our higher education system and provide unique opportunities to their students. As we work on updating the Higher Education Act this Congress, my goal is to make sure that all colleges and universities, including our nation’s HBCU’s, are worth students’ time and money,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee.

“HBCUs are a vital part of our college landscape,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. “As technology and creativity becomes more important to economic success than ever before, I’m committed to making sure that our HBCUs have the STEAM resources they need to serve students all across our nation.”

“HBCUs are critically important to the preparation of African Americans for the industries of the future and leadership on the issues of critical importance to black America,” said Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Because of HBCU’s and the outstanding educations they provide, we have more black engineers, doctors, lawyers and businessmen who are leading in their communities and providing positive examples for future black leaders. The Congressional Black Caucus is proud of our long-standing support of HBCUs and we will continue to work in a bipartisan way to ensure their growth well into the future.”

“As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, I have seen first-hand the prominent role HBCUs play in higher education and workforce development. Since their inception, HBCUs have been the engines of social mobility and a cornerstone of postsecondary education for the African-American community. Today, HBCUs account for no more than 3 percent of all colleges and universities in the nation, but they produce nearly 25 percent of African-American STEM graduates and 33 percent of African-American science and engineering PhDs,” said Chairman Bobby Scott, House Education & Labor Committee. “I want to thank Congresswoman Adams and Congressman Byrne for hosting the STEAM Day of Action and creating this valuable opportunity for HBCUs and their students.”

"America is more diverse than ever, yet the workforce of the technology sector is not.  Without inclusive workforces, tech products can often lead to discriminatory and harmful results.  That’s why I convened a hearing this week to explore ways to help fix this systemic issue.   As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I look forward to hearing from HBCU leaders and students at the second annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action on the importance of providing greater resources for HBCUs and opportunities for HBCU students in our nation's technology sector,” said Representative Frank Pallone, Chairman of the Energy& Commerce Committee.

“As a proud HBCU graduate of Central State University and member of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, I understand first-hand the positive impact HBCUs make in the lives of students, their parents, alumni, community, and our country. HBCUs can play a significant role in helping build a more diverse and inclusive financial services sector, workforce, and pipeline—especially given the fact that these institutions of higher learning produce nearly 30 percent of all business, management, and finance degrees earned by African-American students. In that spirit, I welcome HBCU presidents and officials from across the country to the nation’s capital, and look forward in leading a solutions-oriented dialogue with them and other Members of Congress to identify opportunities to ensure our financial services industry better reflects the talents, skills and unique experiences of all Americans,” said Representative Joyce Beatty, Chairwoman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity & Inclusion.

“In my role as Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, it has been one of my top priorities to find ways to encourage students of all backgrounds to study and enter the STEAM workforce. HBCU’s often offer these same students opportunities at educations they otherwise may never receive,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. “HBCU STEAM Day presents us with a day to not only advocate for students served by HBCUs, but to connect these universities with resources in the private sector so they can broaden the scope of their impact. I am delighted to offer my support of this important cause.”

Members: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Representative Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), Representative Bradley Byrne (R_AL), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Representative Will Hurd (R-TX), Representative Bobby Scott (D- VA), Representative French Hill (R-AR), Representative Mark Walker (R-NC), Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX), Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL), Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Representative Al Lawson (D-FL) and Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH).

Schools & HBCU Advocacy Groups: United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, 1890 Universities Foundation, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, National Association for Equal Opportunity, Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering, Norfolk State University, Central State University, LeMoyne-Owen University, Jarvis Christian College, University of the District of Columbia, Winston-Salem State University, Howard University, Arkansas Baptist College, Tougaloo University, Talladega University, Clark Atlanta University, West Virginia State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Denmark Technical College, Johnson C. Smith University, Huston- Tillotson University, Florida Memorial University, Morgan State University, Stillman College, Virginia State University, Fort Valley State University, Alabama A&M University, Rust College, Morehouse University, Bowie State University, Alcorn State University, St. Phillip’s College, Philander Smith College, Texas College, Delaware State University, Wilberforce University,  Allen University, Saint Augustine University, Miles College, Virginia Union University, Tuskegee University, Shorter College, Paine College, Livingston College, Bethune-Cookman University, Barbara-Scotia College, Fayetteville State University, Fisk University, Shaw University, Elizabeth City State University, Morris College, Oakwood  University, Clark Atlanta University, Lane College, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Southern University and A&M College, Bennett College, Kentucky State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Benedict College, Langston University, Jarvis Christian College, Spelman College, Dillard University, Hampton University, Tennessee State University, Voorhees College, and Edward Waters College.

Industry Representatives: Intel, Lyft, SAP, Dell, Amazon, GM Financial, AnitaB.org, Nielsen, Regions Bank, Pandora, Airbnb, Microsoft, Spotify, Wells Fargo, Adtalem, Ally Bank, SAS, Live Oak Bank, and Apple.

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