Supporting historically Black colleges and universities can help America ensure an equitable recovery
How do we ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic?
It’s one of the most important questions of our careers, and one of the most important questions our country has ever faced. While it’s clear the economy is improving, not all of our communities are benefiting equally in this recovery.
Many small businesses face challenges accessing benefits. Many hourly workers haven’t seen their jobs return. Most disturbing is this solemn truth: Black, brown and indigenous communities have borne a disproportionate burden during COVID-19.
We should all be intent on leading a more inclusive recovery, with a focus on racial and social equity. One clear pathway is to invest in one of our nation’s tried and true engines of upward mobility and job creation: historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.
Every year, HBCUs positively impact the lives of thousands of talented young people, helping them develop their skills so they can enter into meaningful and good-paying jobs. When an HBCU student succeeds, we are also helping ensure the success of that student’s family and community, and our country. But these schools also face historic challenges. Over the last 150 years, campuses have lacked consistent investments and equitable funding. This has caused many campuses to suffer from antiquated infrastructure, and many are in need of significant renovations. New technology, research equipment and greater access to high-speed broadband are also needed. All of these factors create additional challenges for the students and staff.