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Adams Leads Bipartisan HBCU Letter

May 12, 2020
Press Release
"Further delays in implementation will impact the ability of the 1890s to prepare financially for the continued impacts of COVID-19 on their extension programs."
Charlotte – Democrats Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12) and Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) joined Republican Congressmen Michael R. Turner (OH-10) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), as well as 24 additional Members of Congress, to send a letter to Secretary of Agriculture David Perdue requesting Fiscal Year 2020 funding be issued for the nineteen 1890 Land-Grant Universities (1890s) so that the institutions, all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), can weather the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Additionally, the letter calls on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue final guidance on Section 7114 of the 2018 Farm Bill, which Rep. Adams introduced in 2018 as the Carryover Equity Act. A copy of the letter is available here.
 
“1890 Land-Grant Universities, like all Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are suffering during this pandemic. The USDA should promptly provide them with the funding they need to provide for their students and faculty, as well as the farmers and larger communities they serve," said Congresswoman Adams. “Additionally, finalizing the implementation of the Carryover Equity Act is a major issue of equality and fair treatment under the law for the nineteen 1890 Land-Grant Universities. These institutions, especially during this time of financial crisis, deserve a swift resolution to this decades-long injustice they have faced under the existing law. While our HBCUs are stronger than COVID-19, they need a hand up right now. I ask that USDA act promptly to provide desperately needed funding and guidance to these schools so that they can continue their mission to educate the farmers and agricultural researchers of tomorrow.”
 
“The significant and ever-growing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic directly affects our 1890 Land-Grant Universities," said McEachin. "It is imperative that these universities, including Virginia State University, receive the USDA funding and guidance they need to fulfill their mission during these challenging times. As our nation continues to navigate this global health crisis, food and agricultural sciences are needed now more than ever.”
 
"The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on 1890s such as Central State University has been devastating. I look forward to Secretary Perdue and USDA working to provide funding to these critical universities as quickly as possible," said Turner.
 
In addition to Adams, McEachin, Turner, and Luetkemeyer, co-signers of the bipartisan letter include Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, as well as Representatives Adriano Espaillat, Al Lawson, Jr., André Carson, Bennie Thompson, Bruce Westerman, Cedric L. Richmond, Danny K. Davis, Darren Soto, David E. Price, David N. Cicilline, David Scott, Derek Kilmer, Eddie Bernice Johnson, G. K. Butterfield, Jahana Hayes, Jan Schakowsky, Jim Cooper, Marcia L. Fudge, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Cohen, Terri A. Sewell, and Wm. Lacy Clay.
 
The "1890s" referenced in the letter are the following nineteen universities: North Carolina A&T State University, the largest HBCU by enrollment, Alabama A&M, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.
 
Congresswoman Alma Adams has represented North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) since 2014 and has served on the House Committee on Agriculture since 2015, where she serves as Vice Chair of the committee. Additionally, she has served on the Education & Labor Committee since 2015 and as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee since 2019. She has served on the Financial Services Committee since 2019. In 2015, she founded the first bipartisan HBCU Caucus in Congress. Prior to her Congressional career, Adams was an educator for four decades.
 
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