President Trump has made it a point to talk about his commitment to prioritizing HBCUs and their initiatives, and last year, he appointed lawyer and former NFL player Jonathan Holifield to the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
On Tuesday, Trump reiterated that HBCUs were his priority, and announced former Thurgood Marshall College Fund president Johnny Taylor, Jr., as the Chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to a White House briefing. The president was joined at the briefing by members of the White House HBCU initiative and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at a press conference announcing the appointment.
"This administration seeks to provide educational opportunities for all students, especially those underserved and marginalized," said DeVos.
"We are taking important steps to ensure that HBCUs and the students they serve remain influential players in their communities and in their country," she continued.
Trump then approached the podium, and spoke how how "important" the HBCU initiative was to the Trump administration, recapping his executive order last year that created the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
"We have made great strides in strengthening HBCUs a cherished a vital institution in our country — very important," Trump said. The president added that he and his administration have been hard at work at making sure HBCUs thrive, and that "I think you're seeing the fruits of that labor."
Right before introducing Taylor, Trump referred to him as a "great guy," and said, "I know he will advance the cause of HBCUs."
"I appreciate the trust you have placed in me … it has been my life's work to unleash talent it all of its forms from wherever it originates," said Taylor after he took the podium.
Taylor also spoke a bit on his time at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and vowed to work to ensure employers take note of the talents of HBCU graduates.
"This board has an incredible opportunity to highlight HBCUs as wellsprings of the diverse talent American employers want and need today," Taylor said.
You can check out the full announcement below: