HBCUs aren’t minority-serving establishments (letter)


To the Editors:

In “The Forgotten Predominantly Black Institutions of Higher Ed,” Kurt Schmoke and Zalwaynaka Scott, respectively presidents of the College of Baltimore and Chicago State, each designated predominantly black establishments (PBIs), make an “pressing” enchantment for positioning PBIs “on the forefront of upper schooling fairness conversations,” together with HBCUs.

In so doing, the authors mis-define HBCUs as minority-serving establishments (MSIs) and current a comparability between congressional investments in HBCUs and PBIs, which, for the purpose they search to make, is like evaluating the proverbial apples to oranges.

The misaligned comparability between HBCUs and PBIs is rooted within the failure of the authors, like many, to grasp that not like PBIs, Hispanic-serving establishments (HSIs), Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander establishments (AANAPISIs), Native American serving non-tribal establishments (NASNTIs), Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian-serving establishments (ANNHSIs), all of that are by definition minority-serving establishments (MSIs), neither HBCUs nor tribal schools and universities (TCUs) are MSIs.  

HBCUs and TCUs are mission-based establishments that had been born out of the affirmative discrimination by the federal authorities. HBCUs and TCUs had been based to remediate the de jure discrimination in opposition to African People and American Indians, respectively, and the persevering with vestigial impacts of the discrimination. Neither HBCUs nor TCUs has a race or ethnicity requirement.

Regardless of the shortcomings of the argument posited by our esteemed colleagues, we share their conclusion that PBIs want sturdy federal assist. The appropriations components used to find out the PBI share of federal {dollars} by Congress has shortcomings.

PBIs are underfunded relative to others of their MSI cohort (PBIs, HSIs, AANAPISIs, NASNTIs, and ANNHSI) in massive measure as a result of well-intended congressional appropriators battle to make sure equitable investments within the under-resourced, various MSI subsets, because the variety of MSIs are growing due to  America’s rising range. In separate funding streams,  our champion appropriators, battle to fund at ranges to accommodate their rising wants and confirmed outcomes, the mission-based HBCUs and TCUs, based to redress affirmative discrimination by the federal authorities.

PBIs should not feed into the parable that PBIs and HBCUs are nearly the identical with completely different histories, nor that PBIs and HBCUs are competing establishments. Neither the histories, missions, focused scholar cohort, nor desired outcomes are the identical.  

Our group, NAFEO, led in shaping the PBI provisions within the 2008 HEA amendments on the request Congressmen Danny Davis (Ailing.),  Main Owens (N.Y.), Ed Townes (N.Y.), Donald Payne Sr. (N.J.) and Senator Ted Kennedy (Mass.), to create a program to offer members of Congress who had pockets of low-income, first technology African People of their states, who attended private and non-private nonprofit establishments that enrolled a considerable proportion of those college students, a automobile for Congress to spend money on strengthening these establishments, as a way of accelerating closing the schooling hole.

We stay up for persevering with to work with Congressman Danny Davis, the unique writer of the 2007 PBI laws, and a stalwart champion of PBIs, and with the Chairs and members of the congressional schooling authorization and appropriation committees, with presidents Schmoke, Scott, the CEOs of the opposite 78 establishments we consider qualify as PBIs,  and the HBCU neighborhood, to make sure the PBIs obtain funding similar to their MSI colleagues, and that we’ve a typical agenda and potent collaborative voice for PBIs.

–John Pierre
Chancellor, Southern College Regulation Middle
Chair, NAFEO Presidents’ Work Group on Coverage, Advocacy and Regulation

–Lezli Baskerville
President & CEO
Nationwide Affiliation for Equal Alternative in Increased Training


Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

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