After a little bit of concern about hurricane Dorian, the 2019 National HBCU Week Conference events in Washington DC went off without a hitch.
Thank you to the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the Department of Education for hosting the event. Although The HBCU Career Center was on-site for the student and alumni career fair on industry day, we were actively engaged in HBCUWeek events for about 3 weeks prior to arriving in DC, through the Whova app!
- HBCU employees, students and supporters are a dynamic, engaging and diverse group of people. Whether you attended an HBCU, worked at an HBCU or manage programs like we do at The HBCU Career Center – you could not help but be excited about the energy and passion that emanated from people doing the work to keep these institutions relevant, respected and resilient. That energy was really on full display during the 2019 National HBCU Week Conference.
- HBCU students are competitive with students from any other university. One of the core components of HBCUWeek is the acknowledgment of the students receiving the HBCU Competitive Scholars Awards. This year 44 students were acknowledged for demonstrating strong academic achievement, campus or civic engagement or entrepreneurial interests. These students were core participants in special networking, career development and leadership training sessions.
- HBCUWeek is a national event that gets broad national attention. USNews reported that this year’s Presidential lunchtime speech to the crowd of HBCU supporters was “marked by little applause and sometimes awkward silence.” During the speech it was announced that faith-based HBCUs could benefit from a recent Supreme Court ruling allowing equal access to some federal support.
- The students and young alumni career fair event was well attended by an impressive list of employers, government agencies and organizations, including The HBCU Career Center. There were representatives from the organizations making up the Federal Interagency Working Group. Our main takeaway from the career event was that career development and career engagement remains a priority for HBCU students and staff.
- Although there was significant focus on STEM initiatives again this year, a group of Arts and Humanities agencies spent a day and a half through the workshop – Dream It – Achieve It: Federal Cultural Funding Opportunities for HBCUs – to educate participants on the process to secure those funds. The workshop encouraged participants to learn how to obtain funding in these fields. They also shared success stories of recent grant awardees and talked about career opportunities for students interested in professions in the arts and humanities.
More on the conference:
- White House’s HBCU conference created a “room full of black excellence”
- President Trump to give speech at the 2019 HBCU Conference Week