By Katelynn White
Karine Jean Pierre recently made history by becoming the first African-American woman in 30 years to host daily White House press briefings. She is the deputy senior press secretary in the Biden-Harris administration office.
On September 10, Pierre gave students from historically black colleges and universities the opportunity to virtually attend the White House briefing. She invited the HBCU student journalists to a private media briefing to wrap up HBCU National Week. A total of 20 students represented their colleges and universities.
Pierre answered as many questions as she could during the 30 minutes. Opening the briefing, she briefed students on the White House’s commitment to continually support the continued growth of black colleges and universities,
“This administration has already committed over $ 4 billion to support the HBCUs. On September 3, the President signed a proclamation recognizing September 5 to 11 as HBCU National Week.
Pierre shed light on the housing problem that black colleges and universities had after Darreonna Davis, a Howard University student reporter, asked how likely there would be a grant specifically dedicated to housing infrastructure in the cities. HBCU.
“The best reconstruction plan, what the president is working towards.” Its program would offer free tuition to students at public community colleges, including 11 HBCUs. The President is proposing a nearly $ 1,500 increase in Pell Grants, a down payment on doubling Pell.
“According to UNCF, 70% of students at HBCUs are eligible for Pell, so the reconstruction plan, the agenda he’s currently working on with members of Congress, this plan offers historic investments in HBCU’s R&D infrastructure. , TCUS, MSIUS. “
Jean-Pierre discussed a plan the president is working on to help increase funding for black colleges and universities while digging deeper into what is being done to help with student housing.
“The ED department has discharged over $ 1 billion in HBCU debt for institutions moving major capital improvements, for example dormitories,” Jean-Pierre said.
She explained that the administration’s plan was to directly target HBCU student loan debt and how the administration would support programs that were specifically launched to benefit students who attended black colleges.
Jean-Pierre said: “The HBCUs have received nearly $ 4 billion in funding from the Biden-Harris administration, some of this funding has been used by institutions to write off student debt on their accounts. ” She also adds that “$ 1.6 billion in capital improvement loan cancellation for HBCUs” helped HBCUs cover installation costs and the institution’s overall financial health.
Before concluding, she focused on mental health and suicide and told student reporters that President Biden signed a proclamation on suicide prevention. According to Jean-Pierre, Biden proposed $ 180 billion to fund suicide prevention programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, the administration of addiction services and mental health.
Jean-Pierre also discussed during the 30-minute period President Biden’s efforts to help historically black colleges and universities succeed.