PLBC helps Cheyney University establish new research institute

PHILADELPHIA, July 31 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, has released the following statement on today's announcement of a new research institute at Cheyney University:

"I would like to congratulate Cheyney University on its establishing the Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience at the campus. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus was pleased to play the leading role in bringing the Starbucks Foundation and Cheyney together, and we hope this partnership will benefit everyone involved.

"Today's announcement is a welcome one as it shows that Cheyney, our nation's first historically black college or university (HBCU), and a jewel of the Pennsylvania system, is on its way back to prominence. This Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience will serve as not only a think tank for the African American community but also a place where implementable solutions are developed. What better place than Cheyney for such an endeavor?

"Thank you to our Governor Tom Wolf, Chair of the Board of Governors for the State System Cynthia Shapira, Chair of the Council of Trustees Robert Bogle, Cheyney President Aaron Walton and all other partners and supporters. Most importantly, thank you to the students, faculty, staff and alumni who have never given up on Cheyney University, a university that will not die, for its value in the African American community and the community at large is far greater than any of its challenges.

"Cheyney University, like all of our historic institutions in this country, finds itself needing to update and retool to remain competitive in the current marketplace of higher learning. Today, by working with corporate giant Starbucks, and partnering with her academic peer Thomas Jefferson University, Cheyney has taken a major step into the future by becoming the first institution of higher learning in this state to house an Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience. It is my hope that ingenuity like this will fuel a resurgence of interest in the 183-year-old gem of higher learning."

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