Vice President Kamala Harris is not the only member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. helping to shape policy over at the White House. Last week, President Joe Biden appointed the sorority’s international president to serve as the Vice-Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In this role, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, who is also the president of Tennessee State University, will advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative put into place by the Carter Administration, but has taken on new meaning under the Biden-Harris Administration.
The primary areas of focus include programs, projects, and policies. All of which work together to dismantle barriers that HBCUs often face when providing a high-quality education to their overwhelmingly Black student population. Through the American Rescue Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration has already committed more than $4 billion in support.
Dr. Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University and the Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs previously told EBONY that 1.6 billion of that support was capital debt relief. “So it's not just about how the money was allocated,” Allen insisted. “But the specificity, with which [Joe Biden] built some core programs right at the outset of his administration.”
With the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the impending passage of the Build Back Better Act, HBCUs are hoping to improve on capital infrastructure, tuition subsidies, and the necessary things that are important to making sure that these institutions are competitive. By re-establishing the White House HBCU Initiative—and appointing strong leaders to the head of the Board, HBCU supporters and advocates are expecting that the administration will be able to build on their financial commitment with support from the figureheads at these schools.
The appointment of Glover comes on the heels of Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrating a monumental fundraiser in support of HBCUs in September. The sorority raised more than $2.5 million during its HBCU Impact Day to benefit these institutions. Glover has been a staunch supporter of HBCUs during her time at the helm of the sorority. As president, she instituted the HBCU for Life: A Call to Action initiative which has raised millions for HBCUs during her tenure. As Vice-Chair for the President’s HBCUs Board of Advisors, it’s likely that Glover’s enthusiasm for these sacred institutions will bring about meaningful improvements.