HBCU Grad Kamala Harris and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Invest in Innovative Campaign to Reach the HBCU Community
Posted By: Will Moss on September 22, 2020 |
Launched on voter registration day, the Biden / Harris democratic ticket launches an innovative campaign to reach HBCU students and graduates via websites like HBCUConnect.com.
Many Americans do not realize that Kamala Harris is a graduate of a Historically Black College / University (HBCU), Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is also a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Both of these affiliations appear to be great incentives to get large numbers of African Americans out to vote.
The campaign has acknowledged Harris’ nomination as a boon for Black colleges across the country. Yet, given the wide influence that Black college graduates boast, failure to fully galvanize them would be a missed opportunity, some advocates say — especially as Black Democrats who were once on the fence about Harris begin to warm to her.
Ahead of the 2020 primary season, the Biden campaign launched the HBCUs for Biden initiative, aimed at garnering support among young Black voters. Co-chaired by three current HBCU students, the plan also folds in more than $70 billion in additional funding for Black colleges and universities — a monumental sum of money for the institutions, whose median endowment sits at $12 million. Biden has also proposed free tuition for public, four-year HBCUs as part of his “Build Back Better” plan.
And his ticket has some built-in support: Howard alumni rallied behind Harris during her 2016 senatorial campaign and 2020 primary run. Biden’s decision to add the California senator and former prosecutor to the Democratic ticket makes Harris not only the first Black woman to be a major party’s vice presidential nominee, but also the first graduate of an historically Black college or university (HBCU). It’s injected a new burst of energy into the HBCU community’s engagement with the presidential race.
“Howard really paved the way for a lot of the HBCUs and the significance of (Harris) being at the top of the ticket just really shows the value of HBCUs and ... how transformational this would be for us,” said Charlie Lewis, a 1989 Howard graduate. “We have over 86,000 alums and we're not all monolithic,” Lewis continued. “We come from all over the diaspora, the African diaspora. That's unique. And she takes a part of that.”
Ads can be seen for the new Biden / Harris campaign on HBCUConnect.com. Click on any of the ads to see more details on how you can support the campaign or to simply learn more about the candidates.
So far, the Trump Pence ticket has not launched any noticeable campaigns to target African Americans except for an exposed effort to fake twitter accounts to make Trump appear to have more African American supporters on the platform than in reality.
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