President Joe Biden has appointed Taraji P. Henson, Chris Paul and others to the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. 

Seven presidents from historically Black colleges or universities (HBCUs), the president of United Airlines and the first Black woman to be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator are also among Biden’s selections.

Henson is a graduate of Howard University, the alma mater of Vice President Kamala Harris. Paul is a 2x Olympic gold medalist and a 12-time NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns.

On Thursday, Henson took to her Instagram to announce her appointment and said that she looks forward to working with President Biden and Vice President Harris in their efforts for HBCUs.

“I am excited to announce that President Biden has appointed me to serve on his HBCU Board of Advisors,” Henson said. “Since taking office, the President and Vice President Harris have invested $5.8 Billion in HBCUs, and I look forward to working with them to continue efforts to support these important institutions.”

Paul has long been passionate about bringing awareness and increasing funding for HBCUs. He announced the news on his Instagram sharing similar sentiments as Henson.

“Incredibly humbled to be appointed to President Biden’s HBCU Board of Advisors. Looking forward to working with this amazing group to continue to elevate these historical institutions,” Paul wrote.

Henson and Paul join Dr. Tony Allen, the president of Delaware State University, and Dr. Glenda Glover, the president of Tennessee State University and five other HBCUs; Virginia State University, Norfolk State University, Alabama State University, Prairie View A&M University, and Dillard University.

Brett Hart, president of United Airlines, and Lisa Jackson, the first Black administrator of the EPA, will serve on the Board. Biden intends to appoint Paige Blake, a 20-year-old junior at Bowie State University. 

According to a press release provided to Blavity, the board’s purpose is to advance the HBCU Initiative, initially established by the Carter Administration, to aid HBCUs in giving the best quality of education to their students and continue providing opportunities for their students.

Last Year, President Biden appointed Drs. Allen and Glover to serve as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board; and last month, Dr. Dietra Trent was appointed as executive director of the HBCU Initiative.

The Biden-Harris Administration has already committed more than 5.8 billion in support through the American Rescue Plan, grant funding, and forgiving the debt of several institutions.

As the White House HBCU Initiative is reestablished, qualified and diverse individuals are appointed to the Board. The administration will be able to build upon that financial commitment with ongoing institutional support.

In the statement, Dr. Allen said he is thrilled about the opportunity to serve on the Board of the HBCU Initiative. 

“Dr. Glover and I could not be more thrilled about the opportunity to serve with such a talented and deeply committed group of colleagues on the President’s Advisory Board for the White House HBCU Initiative. The PBA will be an eclectic mix of the talent and commitment that defines Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and those who recognize our tremendous value in higher education and in a smaller, more connected global community,” Allen said. “Having already invested an unprecedented $5.8 billion in our institutions, the President, the Vice President, and the entire Biden administration have been clear on their dedication to HBCUs in word and deed. And they are just beginning. We all look forward to our continued work with the Administration and with this exceptional group of Americans.”