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Vice President Kamala Harris

Source: MARK FELIX / Getty

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on the Willie Moore Jr. Show on Friday where she briefly detailed the economic contributions that the Biden Administration has provided HBCUs during its tenure.

The VP explains what the administration has been able to accomplish so far, including capping the cost of insulin and the recent student loan forgiveness program, and what they continue to still strive to achieve.

Last month, Joe Biden announced his plans to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The initiative applies to most individuals earning less than $125,000 per year or couples earning less than $250,000 per year.

VP Harris told Willie Moore that the student loan forgiveness initiative does not only apply to those who have graduated college.

“And also to emphasize Willie, that, that is the case, even if you did not graduate,” said Harris. “And I emphasize that because sadly, we do have so many folks who were not able to see it through in terms of graduation, so either they had other demands in their life, or they had to get the work or they couldn’t afford to stay in school. So it’s important to know if you accumulated that debt during the time you were in college, even if you didn’t graduate, you still qualify.”

Kamala Harris also explained that the administration was far from finished and had other important issues they wanted to tackle including maternal health.

“Another issue, maternal health, maternal mortality is something I’ve been working on forever, putting, highlighting the fact that black women are three, four times more likely to die in connection with childbirth,” said Harris. “We need to do things like extending postpartum care, Medicaid, postpartum care for women from two months to 12 months because after they’ve given birth to a child, they need more than two months support. These are some of the examples including access to capital, we have so many entrepreneurs in the community and small businesses. And so we have put just recently in the last year and a half 12 billion more dollars into community banks to increase access to capital. And one of the other things the President and I are committed to doing is to increasing federal contracts to minority-owned businesses by 50%. Because we want to make sure that our minority-owned businesses have equal access to those federal contracts, which are really significant.”

HBCUs have long played a vital role in providing economic opportunity for Black people in this country but have been systematically underfunded for decades which has led to many of these historic institutions being forced to deal with financial issues that are foreign to many of their fellow Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). 

The money from the Biden Administration could play a role in helping to alleviate these issues.

“HBCUs I’m a proud graduate of HBCUs. Texas Southern, for example, Texas Southern is going to get $90 million,” said Harris. “Prairie View A&M is going to get $84 million and that’s out of a total of over $5 billion that we are dedicating to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).”

Click Here for the breakdown of how $2.7 Billion was given to HBCUs across the country from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan.

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