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Adams' Bill to Strengthen HBCU Partnerships Signed into Law

Jan 4, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – A bill introduced by Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., (NC-12) to strengthen partnerships between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and federal agencies was signed into law last week. The HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (PARTNERS) Act will strengthen partnerships between federal agencies and the country’s more than 100 HBCUs.

This is Adams' third stand-alone bill to be signed into law during the 116th Congress.

“HBCUs are crucially important agents of access and equity in this country, so I am proud of this legislative victory" said Congresswoman Adams. “The HBCU PARTNERS Act recognizes these contributions in the most important way possible: by affording these institutions the ongoing support and investment needed to deepen their transformational work. This legislation will require every administration and the federal agencies it manages to plan and coordinate their efforts to strategically engage with and invest in HBCUs. In addition, it codifies the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, ensuring an ongoing avenue for HBCU priorities and policy concerns to be raised and addressed. Advancing the mission of HBCUs and the success of the communities they serve must be on the minds of our country’s leaders, and more importantly, it must be part of their agendas.”

“Thank you to my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus and the tireless advocates at our leading HBCU organizations for their support in getting this bill passed. I know the nearly 300,000 students that HBCUs serve annually will benefit from our efforts,” Adams concluded.

A video of Rep. Adams' floor remarks in support of the bill is available here.

The HBCU PARTNERS Act builds on the President’s 2017 executive order on HBCUs. It will require federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to undertake annual planning and coordinate their efforts to support and expand HBCU participation in those programs. The bill strengthens the rigor and transparency requirements of existing law by requiring that agencies track their progress toward past goals and share their plans with Congress. In addition, it codifies the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, ensuring an ongoing avenue for the institutions’ priorities and policy concerns to be raised.

The bipartisan HBCU PARTNERS Act was introduced in the House by Rep. Adams and co-sponsored by Representatives Mark Walker (NC-06), French Hill (AR-02), Terri Sewell (AL-07), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Anthony Brown (MD-04), and Barbara Lee (CA-13). The bill was sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), David Perdue (R-GA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.