Wheatley, Gainey legislation would create liaison for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, will be introducing legislation that would create a liaison for Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the state’s Department of Education.

The liaison would be responsible for coordinating with state departments and agencies, the private sector, educational associations and philanthropic organizations to strengthen and improve the participation of HBCUs in state programs, Wheatley said.

The liaison also would work toward fostering partnerships to promote research and programmatic excellence at each HBCU.

“The commonwealth is home to two of the oldest HBCUs in the nation, Cheyney University and Lincoln University, making this legislation imperative to the prosperous progression and advancement of these historic schools that continue to provide higher education opportunities to African-Americans,” Wheatley said.

Gainey added: “HBCUs are necessary; they provide the proper nourishment that it takes to prepare young people, particularly African-Americans, to enter the workplace with understanding, knowledge and personal accomplishment that traditional history doesn’t teach.”

HBCUs are institutions established before 1964 with a principal mission to provide higher education to African-American communities. They offer all students – regardless of race – an opportunity to further their education and develop their skills and talent.

This measure, which is expected to be introduced in the state House in the near future, is based off bipartisan legislation that recently became law in Tennessee, Wheatley added.