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Bill Introduced to Strengthen HBCU-DHS Relationship

A new bill in Congress would require the Department of Homeland Security issue a strategy to strength its relationship with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), is introducing legislation to improve the relationship between the Department of Homeland Security and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The HBCUs Homeland Security Partnerships Act would require DHS to issue a goal-based strategy to ensure stronger partnerships with HBCUs. 

The legislation also mandates that DHS will monitor and report on the strategy in providing contracting, research and development and career opportunities to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions. The bill is intended to strengthen an initiative established by President Donald Trump in 2017 to provide equitable opportunities for HBCUs and federal programs. However, in reality, the partnerships between DHS and HBCUs has "fallen short" of DHS priorities, according to a press release announcing the legislation.

"Since its inception, DHS has realized the value in working with HBCUs — but the partnership is not as robust as it should be. Unfortunately, opportunities for minority students are often subpar," said Thompson. "There is a wealth of knowledge and talent at HBCUs and it would undoubtedly be in our interest to ensure this knowledge and talent is utilized in defending the homeland."

The full text of the legislation can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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