Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have existed primarily since Reconstruction with the primary mission of providing postsecondary education to Black Americans. The legacy of the 107 HBCUs in America is carried on by their thousands of graduates who are impacting local communities, including those here in Wisconsin. That’s why Governor Walker declared last Sunday “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day” in Wisconsin.
Governor Walker is committed to bringing further awareness to HBCUs and the vital role that they play in promoting higher education throughout our state.
Graduates from these institutions are offered a shot at success and the ability to tap into good-paying, family-supporting jobs available right here in Wisconsin. Over 60% of African-American engineers are graduates of HBCU engineering schools. Over 30% of African-American physicians and dentists are graduates of HBCU schools of medicine.
HBCUs help create leaders in the African- American community, with no exceptions here in Wisconsin. Overall, 10,000 graduates of HBCUs call Wisconsin home. The majority of these graduates return to Wisconsin as prominent African American professionals in their communities.
HBCUs provide education to those in the black community whom may not have equal access to higher education. They offer flexibility in assisting disadvantaged students who face difficult financial situations or struggle paying for college. HBCUs provide student services that help students graduate on time or even early – giving graduates the opportunity to save money and head into the real world with less debt.
The governor’s commitment to these institutions should not go unnoticed. On Sunday, October 1st, churches throughout Wisconsin hosted testimonials to the historical importance of HBCUs to communities throughout Wisconsin. Multiple events through the week will celebrate HBCU institutions, their current students, and alumni. All of these events will culminate with an HBCU Wisconsin College Fair held Saturday, October 7th at Milwaukee Vincent High School.
Governor Walker’s support of the impact that HBCUs have on the African- American community and our youth helps raise awareness of HBCUs and what they provide the black community. I would like to thank Governor Walker once again for his proclamation of HBCU Sunday. This initiative will give our youth and the community information they need to attend one of these historic institutions – grooming them into young African-American professionals that will return to the community to give back.
Gerard Randall is the Republican Party of Wisconsin African American Council Chairman
Paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin