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CLYBURN CHRONICLES SEPTEMBER PODCAST FEATURES NAFEO PRESIDENT AND CEO LEZLI BASKERVILLE

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September 28, 2022
Wed, 09/28/2022 - 6:31pm -- cwhite

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the newest edition of his podcast, the Clyburn Chronicles, featuring National Association for Equal Opportunity and Higher Education (NAFEO) President and CEO Lezli Baskerville. Following President Biden’s 2022 HBCU Week proclamation, the two sat down to discuss the important role these institutions play in educating the next generation of leaders.

“I often say that HBCUs are the cutters, and polishers of diamonds—diamonds in the rough. As everybody knows, every diamond must be dug, cut, and polished. That’s what makes them valuable,” said Majority Whip Clyburn. “That’s how I see HBCUs across this great country of ours.”

Lezli Baskerville emphasized the critical differences between HBCUs, Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).

“While collectively this cohort is responsible for the diversity in government, the diversity in the military, the diversity in corporate America and so forth, the institutions are not the same,” Baskerville explained. “Their missions are not the same.”

Majority Whip Clyburn agreed, noting, “They are not in competition with each other, they are supplemental to each other. They work together to get a common goal accomplished by all these institutions.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, HBCUs account for 3 percent of nonprofit colleges and universities but enroll 10 percent of African American college students. They are also responsible for 17 percent of Black Americans earning their bachelor’s degrees. That percentage is significantly higher for HBCU STEM students earning advanced degrees.

“Three percent of American colleges and universities are graduating 42 percent of [African Americans] in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics with advanced degrees,” Baskerville told Majority Whip Clyburn.

The pair closed their conversation by encouraging those who have worked in the public sector since 2007 and have made student loan payments during that time to apply for the recently expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program before the October 31 deadline.

“You only have 5 weeks left to apply. We expect for well over 200,000 people to benefit from this program, and we expect well over $15 billion of loan forgiveness to take place,” Majority Whip Clyburn continued. “Make sure that you’re one of them.”

To hear the conversation, please click here.

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