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Trump Administration Downsizing Annual HBCU Conference

Image: Trump Administration Downsizing Annual HBCU Conference
President Donald Trump signs the Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCU Executive Order, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in the Oval Office in the White House in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Saturday, 02 September 2017 11:22 AM

The Trump administration will downsize an upcoming conference of historically black colleges and universities, making the event a "more intimate" gathering, the White House announced Friday.

"Responding to suggestions and feedback from many key stakeholders, the White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will modify its planned conference to best meet the current needs of HBCUs, their students and the broader HBCU community," the administration said in its announcement, reports The Hill.

Instead, the event will now feature a series of meetings so students and leaders can share perspectives about "the opportunities and challenges facing the HBCU community."

The move came after college leaders and some members of Congress had called for the event to be delayed in the wake of President Donald Trump's response to violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, reports Politico.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last month said there was still a "pretty lengthy waiting list" by HBCU officials to attend the annual White House Conference, so the call to cancel it would not be heeded.

On Friday, in its statement announcing the changes, the Trump administration did not detail if any participants had cancelled their plans to attend.

Instead, the statement noted that the Trump administration will focus on how it can work best with HBCU schools and students. Further, officials will discuss how to structure a larger, "highly beneficial" HBCU conference at a later date.

The Trump administration has already come under criticism for its relationship with the HBCU community, highlighted when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in February tried to draw a parallel between the colleges and school choice.

Her comments drew ire from critics who said the HBCUs were formed not to offer choice, but because they were founded at a time when African-American students did not have other options for their higher education.

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The Trump administration will downsize an upcoming conference of historically black colleges and universities, making the event a "more intimate" gathering, the White House announced Friday.
trump, hbcu, conference, downsizing
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2017-22-02
Saturday, 02 September 2017 11:22 AM
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