Showing posts with label White House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label White House. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2024

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Record Over $16 Billion in Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a new record in Federal funding and investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) totaling more than $16 billion from Fiscal Years (FY) 2021 through current available data for FY 2024. This new reported total is up from the previously announced over $7 billion, and captures significant additional actions already undertaken.  The total of more than $16 billion includes over $11.4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 through Federal grants, contracting awards, and debt relief for HBCUs; over $4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 for HBCU-enrolled students through federal financial aid and educational benefits for veterans; and, so far in FY 2024, over $900 million has been secured for Department of Education programs strengthening HBCUs as institutions. President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to ensuring whole-of-government investment efforts in HBCUs continue at full momentum through the rest of FY 2024.
These historic funding levels – the most by any administration – demonstrate President Biden and Vice President Harris’s ongoing commitment to HBCUs, which serve as an engine for upward economic mobility in our country. The Administration is also focused on work to ensure HBCUs have the resources to provide a high-quality postsecondary education.

For more than 180 years, HBCUs have been advancing intergenerational economic mobility for Black families and communities, developing vital academic research, and making our Nation more prosperous and equitable. Despite representing only 3% of colleges and universities, HBCUs play an outsized role to support the economic mobility of African Americans, producing 40 percent of all Black engineers, 50 percent of all Black teachers, 70 percent of all Black doctors and dentists, 80 percent of all Black judges, and the first woman and Black Vice President of the United States. Overall, HBCUs greatly contribute to the economic success of America, providing college access to twice as many Pell Grant-eligible (low-income) students as non-HBCU institutions. Additionally, social mobility research by the United Negro College Fund finds that HBCUs support nearly five times more students than Ivy League and other top-ranked institutions in facilitating movement from the bottom 40% in U.S. household income to the top 60%.
CEA report published today further underscores that HBCUs are engines for upward mobility and additionally discusses new research showing that HBCU enrollment has considerable positive effects on bachelor’s degree completion and household income later in life. The report details how these successes have occurred in the context of historic underfunding of HBCUs. It also discusses a recent resurgence in applications to, and enrollment in, HBCUs which highlight the high value that students have placed on these institutions in recent years.

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to advancing racial equity, economic opportunity, and educational excellence, including by reestablishing the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Between FY 2021 – FY 2023 the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to support HBCUs:
Invested over $11.4 billion in HBCUs, which includes:

  • Nearly $4 billion for HBCUs through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief legislation. These grants funded through the Department of Education and other agencies have helped HBCUs support students’ ability to meet basic needs; support campus operations, staffing, teaching, and educational programs; and keep campuses and the surrounding communities on the path to an equitable recovery;
  • $2.6 billion from the Department of Education to build institutional capacity at HBCUs. These efforts support the growth and sustainability of HBCU degree programs; increase and enhance human, technological, and physical infrastructure for research; strengthen positioning to secure direct partnership opportunities; and create sustainable fund development;
  • Over $1.6 billion to HBCUs through Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and other competitive funding opportunities that drive the advancement of academic and training programs, community-based initiatives, and research innovation across national priorities such as medicine and public health, climate science, agriculture, emerging technologies, and defense;
  • Almost $950 million to support HBCUs in growing research capacity and related infrastructure to better compete for Federal research and development dollars;
  • Nearly $719 million in grant funding to expand STEM academic capacity and educational programs; and in other high-wage, high-demand fields such as computer science, nursing, and allied health;
  • Over $150 million in Federal contracting opportunities awarded to HBCUs, including for research and expansion of STEM education programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and U.S. Agency for International Development;
  • $1.6 billion in capital finance debt relief for 45 public and private HBCUs. Discharging these debts has enabled these institutions to focus resources on supporting students, faculty, and staff while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Over $2.4 million in Project SERV funds to support HBCUs affected by more than a dozen bomb threats in 2022. These grants have helped restore safe learning environments and invest in student mental health and well-being for students.

In addition to the over $11 billion provided to HBCUs, the Biden-Harris Administration has provided over $4 billion to support the success of HBCU-enrolled students through:  

  • $2.8 billion in need-based grants and other Federal programs, including Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, to assist HBCU students in affording a postsecondary education; and
  • Nearly $1.3 billion to support Veterans attending HBCUs through the GI bill and other college, graduate school, and training programs delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While more must be done to ensure equity for HBCUs and their students, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering landmark first-of-its-kind results:

  • The Department of Defense U.S. Air Force established the first-ever HBCU-led University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Led by Howard University with seven other HBCUs and funded at $90 million over five years, efforts will focus on advancing the deployment of autonomous technologies for Air Force missions. Participating schools include Jackson State University, Tuskegee University, Hampton University, Bowie State University, Norfolk State University, Delaware State University, Florida Memorial University, and Tougaloo College.
  • The Department of Commerce established the first-ever Connecting-Minority-Communities program delivering funding for 43 HBCUs to purchase broadband internet, purchase equipment, and hire IT personnel to tackle the digital divide impacting HBCUs. Several HBCUs also recently launched an HBCU CHIPS Network in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology to increase the coordination of the resources at the colleges and universities and jointly contribute to workforce development needs of the semiconductor industry. Chips are critical in powering our consumer electronics, automobiles, data centers, critical infrastructure, and virtually all military systems.
  • The Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide $4.2 million in grant funding to HBCUs, through the EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center program.
  • The Department of Agriculture announced a $262.5 million investment to support 33 projects across U.S. institutions of higher education designed to train the next generation of diverse agricultural professionals. Through the USDA NextGen program, the projects are led by 1890 land-grant institutions (historically Black land-grant universities), 1994 land-grant institutions (Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-Serving Institutions and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions), and institutions of higher education located in the Insular Areas. This historic investment will provide training and support to more than 20,000 future food and agricultural leaders through 33 projects executed by more than 60 institutions across 24 states and Insular Areas.
  • The Department of Energy announced the inaugural $7.75 million Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Clean Energy Education Prize, a competition that will support HBCUs in developing programming to strengthen the participation of K-12 and community college students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The competition, which has announced its first 10 winning HBCU teams, is supporting the creation of clean energy community networks to inspire the next generation of students to work in STEM fields related to clean energy.
  • The Department of Education provided nearly $25 million to HBCUs under the Research and Development Infrastructure program to transform their research infrastructure, including strengthening research productivity, faculty expertise, physical infrastructure, and partnerships leading to increases in external funding.
  • The Department of Transportation announced Prairie View A&M University in Texas as the first-ever HBCU to lead a University Transportation Center. Prairie View A&M and 11 other HBCUs were among 34 schools to receive a portion of a $435 million grant for development of interoperable technology systems, which allow equipment, software, and applications to work together, communicate, and exchange data.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is pioneering efforts to close opportunity gaps in STEM, including nearly $12 million for eight HBCUs to support programs in artificial intelligence and machine learning and create a more diverse pipeline of talent for careers in data-intensive space-based Earth science.
  • The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs established the Executive HBCU Space Lab, a new collaboration between HBCUs, the Federal government, and industry partners to increase HBCU engagement in space-related federal contracting. The Executive HBCU Space Lab is a solutions-oriented initiative that will release resources including SpaceTechConnect, a free platform to highlight space-related capabilities at HBCUs.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences established HBCU-Connect, a new initiative with HBCUs to inspire the development of environmental health science leaders from diverse backgrounds. HBCU-Connect is a multifaceted effort to strengthen ties between the institute and faculty and students at academic institutions that are often underrepresented in the sciences.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau launched the Maternal Health Research Collaborative for MSIs, providing roughly $30M in research support to seven HBCUs over five years. The funding will build capacity of HBCUs to conduct Black maternal health research to fully understand and address the root causes of disparities in maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, and maternal health outcomes; and to find community-based solutions to address these disparities and advance health equity.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health funding to HBCUs totaled $147.5 million to support research, training, research capacity building, and outreach efforts. NIH funding included endowment awards to strengthen the research infrastructure of the HBCU award recipients to conduct minority health and health disparities research. Other NIH funding has assisted several HBCUs in contributing towards building a diverse scientific workforce, including mentorship and student training programs and career development opportunities for faculty.
  • The National Science Foundation launched Advancing Research Capacity at HBCUs through Exploration and Innovation (ARC-HBCU) to support participation in an intensive, facilitated workshop that brings together HBCU faculty, staff, research administrators and academic leadership focused on exploration of innovative and promising approaches for addressing the research capacity needs of HBCUs.
  • The National Science Foundation, as part of Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity (GRANTED) initiative, awarded an Atlanta-based HBCU consortium a $14 million competitive grant to establish a hub that promotes equity in the national research ecosystem and serves as a model for other HBCUs and emerging research institutions. The consortium includes Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Clark Atlanta University.
  • The National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on STEM, in support of the CHIPS and Science Act, established an Interagency Working Group (IWG) on HBCU, TCU, and MSI STEM Achievement. The Council provides a coordinated federal approach to carry out sustained outreach activities to increase clarity, transparency, and accountability for federal research agency investments in STEM education and research at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, including such institutions in rural areas.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced awards totaling $5.5 million for HBCUs to conduct housing and community development research to support the production of affordable housing, support homeownership, advance use of renewable energy, and address infrastructure inequity affecting underserved communities.
  • The Department of Justice has increased both the number of HBCUs applying for grants and its HBCU approval rate. Over the past five years, DOJ’s grant awards to HBCUs have increased 83% (from $900,000 in FY18 to $5.2 million to HBCUs in FY23).

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Andre Mathis confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

On Thursday, September 8, 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed Tennessee lawyer Andre Mathis to a seat on the Sixth Circuit. That seat opened up on November 18, 2021, when Judge Bernice Donald announced she was taking senior status.

Mathis, 41, will be the first Black man, and second Black person, from Tennessee to sit on the Cincinnati, Ohio-based 6th Circuit. The last time a Black man was on that court was a quarter century ago, the White House says.

Judge Mathis brings an impressive range of civil and criminal litigation experience with him to the bench.

After graduating from law school, Mathis joined the Memphis law firm of Glankler Brown as an associate. He worked in criminal defense as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Western District of Tennessee and with the Tennessee Innocence Project. He served as a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee from 2010 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2020. He was also a member of the Federal Defender Evaluation Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 2012 to 2013. He served on the Disciplinary Hearing Committee of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility from 2015 to 2021 and on the Shelby County Ethics Commission from 2013 to 2017.

In January 2020, Mathis joined the Memphis office of Butler Snow LLP.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Official White House portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama unveiled.

The Obamas returned to the presidential residence Wednesday for a ceremony to unveil their official White House portraits, more than five years after moving out of the president's mansion.

Barack Obama's painting was done by Robert McCurdy and Michelle Obama's was done by Sharon Sprung.

Traditionally, the two most recent presidential portraits end up in the Entrance Hall. The first ladies' portraits generally hang on the floor below.

Get a better look at the portarits below:

v class="separator" style="clear: both;">

Friday, June 17, 2022

President Biden nominates Dana M. Douglas for Fifth District Court of Appeals

President Joe Biden is nominating Judge Dana M. Douglas for the United States Fifth District Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Judge Douglas would be the first woman of color to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Prior to joining the bench Douglas was a partner at Liskow & Lewis, where she worked from 2001 to 2018.

Douglas served on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission from 2003 to 2013.

She served as a law clerk for Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 2000 to 2001.

Douglas received her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from Miami University of Ohio in 1997.

Among those backing her nomination are Louisiana Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, former Mayor Marc Morial, now president of the National Urban League, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Keisha Lance Bottoms to join White House staff

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) will join the White House in the coming days as director of the Office of Public Engagement, a White House official confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

Bottoms will replace Cedric Richmond, who left the White House last month, as one of President Biden’s top advisers in the West Wing. The Office of Public Engagement is tasked with engaging with the public about the White House’s agenda.

Bottoms has committed to serve at least through the November midterm elections.


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Watch Remarks by Vice President Harris Before Roundtable to Discuss Roe V. Wade

Vice President Convened a Roundtable with Constitutional Law, Privacy, and Technology Experts to Discuss what is at Stake if Roe v. Wade is Overturned. Watch her opening remarks:

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Shalanda Young becomes first Black woman to lead White House budget office

Shalanda Young on Tuesday became the first Black woman to lead the White House budget office after the Senate confirmed her to the Cabinet-level position with bipartisan support. The vote was 61-36.

Young has served as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget for the past year. She was confirmed last March by the Senate to serve as the deputy director and ascended to the top role after Neera Tanden's nomination was withdrawn because Tanden didn't have enough support in the Senate. Nearly nine months after Tanden's nomination was withdrawn, Biden officially nominated Young as director.

Young was the first Black woman to serve as the staff director of the House Appropriations Committee and won bipartisan praise for her work in that role. She worked on the committee for more than 14 years and took over as staff director in 2017.

The key office, which oversees all budget development and execution and has significant influence over the President's agenda, has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since the President took office last January. It was the last Cabinet-level position that remained unfilled.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

President Biden nominates Shalanda Young for OMB director

President Joe Biden has nominated Shalanda Young to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, giving her an opportunity to officially take on the role she has been serving in as acting director for the past eight months.

Young received bipartisan support with a 63-37 vote when she was confirmed to the deputy director position in March, and if confirmed as budget director, she would become the first Black woman to hold the post.

"In her eight months as acting director of OMB, she's continued to impress me and congressional leaders as well," Biden said in a pre-recorded video announcing the nomination on Wednesday.

Young previously served as the staff director for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, where Biden says she "earned the trust, respect and admiration of Democrats and Republicans alike."

Young has over 14 years of combined experience in various roles with the House Appropriations Committee, oversaw $1.4 trillion in annual federal funding and played a key role in shaping coronavirus relief legislation.

The Office of Management and Budget is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States. OMB's most prominent function is to produce the president's budget, but it also examines agency programs, policies, and procedures to see whether they comply with the president's policies and coordinates inter-agency policy initiatives.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Erica Loewe: New White House Director of African American Media

Erica Loewe, has joined President Biden’s all-female communications team as the new director of African American Media for the White House.

Loewe previously served as Deputy Communications Director to House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.

On May 25, 2021 Loewe announced her new position via email:

“Yesterday was my last day in the House Majority Whip’s office. Though it is difficult to leave my extremely talented Hill colleagues, I will not be going very far,” Loewe said. “Today, I begin a new role as the Director of African American Media to President Biden at the White House.”

Loewe also said that it had been the honor of a lifetime to serve as Deputy Communications Director to House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn and Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, particularly during this historic period.

Friday, November 09, 2018

April Ryan responds to Trump calling her a loser

President ( In title only) Trump called Journalist April Ryan a loser. He made that comment while whining about revoking the press passes of people who don't show respect to the White House or the office of the presidency which translates into revoking press passes those who don't kiss his a**.

April Ryan as always responded with class and dignity via Twitter:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Will you be buying Omarosa's book on her time in the White House?

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

It was a foregone conclusion that ousted Assistant to the President, Omarosa Manigault would write a book about her brief time in the Trump White House. Well, that book, 'Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House' is set to be released August 14, 2018.

Here's the book's blurb from Amazon:

The former Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House provides a jaw-dropping look into the corruption and controversy of the current administration.

Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.

A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.

Now, the book will probably sell very well, but I won't be one of those buying it. I can't in any way support this woman who would sell out the entire African American community and was only in the whole thing for a title, and the money that would come after she served in Trump's administration. I want to read the book, but I won't be paying for it and enriching Omarosa, maybe I'll get it at the local library, borrow someone else's copy, or wait for the Lifetime movie.

Will you buy the book?

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins responds to Donald Trump’s cancellation of team's White House visit

Social Activist and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins released a statement on Tuesday after President Donald Trump threw a tantrum and made the childish decision to cancel the Eagles’ White House invitation after finding out that most of the players were not coming. Read his statement below:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

NBA champions Golden State Warriors to visit with D.C. students instead of Trump

The NBA champion Golden State Warriors will spend next week's trip to Washington, D.C., visiting local children after the team was disinvited (although the team had said they weren't going???) from the White House by President Trump.

The team told ESPN that the players plan to attend a small event closed to media with local D.C. children during their visit to the nation's capital, though details of the event were not readily available.

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The event was decided on after the team received invitations from Democrats such as Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to visit the U.S. Capitol. But the Warriors decided not to politicize their visit to Washington.

"At the end of the day, it's about us celebrating a championship, so there's no point in getting into the political stuff and all that," forward Draymond Green told ESPN. "It's about something we did great. Why make it about [politics]?"


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Former RNC chair: 'This shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP'

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele says that the GOP is to blame for the government shutdown after lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a funding bill late Friday.

"Despite the rhetorical effort to paste Democrats with 'Schumer's Shutdown' and to redefine what constitutes majority control of the Senate ('60'? Really?), the fact remains that this shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP and it appears a majority of Americans agree," Steele told Politico.

Steele, who chaired the RNC from 2009-2011, before former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, called the shutdown "pitiful" and said it "certainly could have been avoided."

The former Republican Party chief blamed President Trump for sinking a potential deal, saying Trump "wound up negotiating against himself by taking a potential agreement off the table."


Thursday, January 04, 2018

Black Republicans say Omarosa blocked them from White House jobs.

Black Republicans claim Omarosa blocked them from jobs in order to maintain her status as the “only African American woman… senior staff and assistant to the president” as she described herself on ABC. Her actual White House title has been assistant to the president and director of communications in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

But her actual job description appears not to have been clearly defined. In interviews with the Trice Edney News Wire Black Republicans blame her for blocking Black job applicants from the Trump administration – including Republican stalwart Kay Coles James, who was appointed Dec. 19 as the first African-American and first woman president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“I was blocked personally. Essentially, my file was pulled and I wasn’t deemed pro-Trump enough,” says Eugene Craig. “The official excuse was that I wasn’t pro-Trump enough although I was the sitting chair of the Maryland Republican Party.”

Sources said because of President Trump’s need for loyalty, that attribute – loyalty – was among the top considerations for key White House positions. Craig admits that he was a “never Trumper all the way”, but that was during the campaign. Craig says he noticed that when the time came for consideration for jobs and the broad banner of Republicanism, White never-Trumpers were given consideration where African Americans were not.

“The flood gates were opened, but Omarosa held all of us to a different standard. She had say over a lot of the Black resumes. I know for a fact from promises that she made us directly.”

Craig says a January conference call with the Republican National Committee and Trump transition team was held “specifically for African American activists and party loyalists.” He said, “During the middle of the call, she jumped on and bogarted on. And she came in and she made us these promises that this would be the most diverse administration in history. And she’ll help us with whatever we need and wherever we wanted to go into government and to shoot our resumes over to her and she gave us her official transition email. She said this administration has a goal of having 25 percent minority hiring. They wanted 25 percent of the work force to be Black and Hispanic…So she positioned herself as the end all be all for Black things; for Black people in the administration,” Craig said.

Ayshia Connors, a former deputy director of African American engagement at the Republican National Committee, now a senior advisor to Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), agrees. She describes an initiative by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Insight America, an organization headed by former Republican Congressman J. C. Watts:

“There were hundreds, probably thousands of resumes of qualified individuals in the Black community that were ready and prepared to go into any administration no matter who won the election. And when President Trump got elected, all of those names were submitted and Omarosa literally trashed those names. Nobody got a call back. Nobody got an interview. Nobody was every heard about again. People tried to go in. People were eager and willing to serve the President, willing to serve our country. But Omarosa, she didn’t want other Black Republicans there. She wanted to be the big shot. She wanted to be the only one. And so, everybody kind of just decided it wasn’t worth our times to keep dealing with it. And so, by February, people had just moved on from Omarosa and dealing with the White House and decided to start working with Congress and dealing some other policy matters.”

Connors added that Kay Coles James, former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources under Virginia Republican Gov. George Allen and director for the United States Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush, received the same treatment.

“She was willing and prepared to go back into the government and to help the administration. But Omarosa was such a distraction and created so much drama and confusion that Ms. James just decided not to engage it anymore. So that’s what ended up happening. That’s why you only saw Omarosa as a senior Black Republican in the White House.”

In a brief interview with James upon her appointment as president of the Heritage Foundation, James was clear about why she did not go to work in the Trump White House.

“When Donald Trump said that he wanted to improve the urban areas and that he wanted to make the lives of minorities in this country better, I said, wow, if he wants to do that, I genuinely want to be a part of that and I was excited and hopeful the opportunity to come in,” she said. “But that opportunity never really afforded itself. I am told that I was blocked…I don’t have specifics about how that happened, but I was extremely disappointed that I didn’t have the opportunity to serve there.”

Connors said the clearest evidence that Omarosa was not going to work with other Black Republicans came in February when Omarosa was in charge of pulling together the Black History Month program for President Trump.

“During Black History Month, these credible Republicans such as Kay Coles James and J. C. Watts and Elroy Sailor, they tried to engage Omarosa.” Instead, Omarosa put an event together that included her personal picks of African-Americans, including Black Democrats, Connors said.

“She didn’t invite any of the prominent Black Republicans. In fact, we had folks calling us from the White House calling and saying, ‘Why aren’t your names on the list for this event?’ It was very evident from the beginning that she wasn’t going to work with us and that she was just going to do her own thing.”

Connors cited another event for Vice President Pence that was planned by Black Republicans to be held at West Point. “That was another example of Omarosa using her position in the White House to block that event as well. And that was actually the turning point for Black Republicans. We decided she was just too distracting too disruptive and we decided to focus our efforts elsewhere.”

On the record sources willing to speak in defense of Omarosa were difficult to find. But, high placed Republican sources say it is not possible that Omarosa could have made such powerful decisions without oversight in the White House – most likely the President himself. Other high Republican sources said James was offered positions, but Omarosa fought against any Black staff appointment that would be above her own.

Yet another rationale for why some Black Republicans seeking employment were rejected may have been because they had left the Republican National Committee Headquarters in protest against treatment by then RNC Chairman Reince Priebus nearing the end of the presidential campaign. Priebus then became President Trump’s first chief of staff and was likely adverse to hiring the same staffers who had left the RNC, one source said.

Christopher Metzler, an active member of the Black GOP Coalition, who has long worked Republican policy and strategy, had one answer when asked why there were no long time Black Republicans hired as White House staff. “It’s very simple. Omarosa,” he said.

“Somebody like Kay [Coles James] who could serve as a whisperer in the President’s ear like a Condoleezza Rice; like a Valerie Jarrett, was never given that opportunity. There was a lot of back and forth pertaining to that. And Kay said, “Well, it is not going to serve the President well for me to try to cut through this thicket. And as a result of that, she did not push it any further.”

Metzler concluded, “All of these things were blocked by Omarosa. At the end of the day, Omarosa is first and foremost a Democrat. She is not a conservative. She is not a Republican. She never has been. She is simply an opportunist. And that’s where we ended up.”

[Omarosa’s Final Days at White House Full of Controversy, Accusations]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

John Kelly: I asked black Republicans to apply for Trump administration jobs

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly confirmed Tuesday that he met with a group of black Republicans and asked them to submit their resumes if they were interested in working for the Trump administration.

The meeting took place Monday, just days after the departure of White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former reality TV star.

"I met with them just for a few minutes and said we are looking for talented young men and women of any age that would be willing to come and serve the country for some period of time," Kelly said he told the group.

He added that he wasn't specifically calling for African-American or women applicants

Kelly also asked his guests to spread the word around, in case they knew people who were looking for "something that is very fulfilling."


"We're looking for good people," he said.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Omarosa gets into trouble at the White House over wedding photo shoot

One Saturday in early April, Omarosa Manigault caused a stir in the White House.

The "Apprentice" villain turned senior White House official brought members of her 39-person bridal party to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for an extended wedding photo shoot, catching fellow senior aides and some security officials by surprise in her bridal attire. The visitors loudly wandered around, looking to snap photos in the Rose Garden and throughout the West Wing, according to four current and former White House officials.

While it’s unclear whether she received formal permission for the photo shoot, at least some lawyers and other senior aides were not briefed in advance, the officials said. They quickly banned Manigault, director of communications for the Office of the Public Liaison, from posting the pictures online, citing security and ethical concerns.

The incident — which created buzz in the West Wing for weeks — did little to help the reputation of the Office of Public Liaison, seen by some White House officials as one of the most unruly and under-utilized operations in the West Wing, according to eight current and former White House officials and advisers.

The office has floundered for months, these people say, and has drawn particular scrutiny from Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has asked for changes.

Read more: Omarosa's West Wing bridal adventure highlights broader dysfunction

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gen. Kelly says he'll 'never' apologize for comments about Rep. Frederica Wilson

White House chief of staff John Kelly says he will "absolutely not" apologize for his comments on Rep. Frederica Wilson, adding that he stands by his comments.

When defending Trump in the wake of the feud, Kelly claimed Wilson had boasted of securing "$20 million" in federal funding to build a new FBI field office in Miami during the dedication ceremony for the building in 2015. He also called the congresswoman an empty barrel, saying her remarks focused more on her own actions than the heroism of the two FBI agents for whom the new building had been named.

But a Sun Sentinel video of the building dedication ceremony confirmed that she had not taken credit for the building's funding.

Asked Monday if he felt like he needed to apologize for his comments about Wilson, Kelly said, "Oh, no. No. Never. Well, I'll apologize if I need to. But for something like that, absolutely not. I stand by my comments."

Wilson tweeted Tuesday that she stands by her call for Kelly to apologize to her.

"I stand by what I said. John Kelly owes the nation an apology because when he lied about me, he lied to the American public," she said.

The call in question was to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of four soldiers killed during an ambush in Niger.

"As far as the young widow goes -- she has every right to say what she wants to say," Kelly said, according to a transcript of an interview on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle."

Kelly said he felt Wilson's retelling contributed to "the politicization of something that was so from the heart." Kelly said he was "brokenhearted" by the congresswoman's criticism, and said he had given the President some guidance on consoling the families.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trump has an more of an issue with black athletes who protest than with white nationalist

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

There is a famous Maya Angelou quote, "When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them ."

Donald Trump has issues with Colin Kaepernick, Jemele Hill, and Stephen Curry (Wonder what they all have in common there?), all athletes are people in sports who don't support him or that have PEACEFULLY protested, but he seems to have no issues with white nationalist.

Trump's words last night at a campaign rally for Luther Strange show that he is very upset about attacking NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. He is more upset about that than white nationalist who marched while making anti-Semitic slurs at the University of Virginia, or the white supremacist who injured many and killed one person in Charlottesville. Trump showed more passion in calling black NFL players "son of a bitch" than he ever did when he was forced to denounce the alt-right. Watch that segment of his speech below:

Wow he seemed pretty fired up there and got a great reaction from the crowd filled with his supporters. But that wasn't enough; Trump had to take a shot at Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors after they pretty much said they didn't want to visit the White House to be honored for the 2017 NBA Championship.

In a response that took far shorter than the 48 hours it took to respond to the horrible events in Charlottesville, Trump tweeted:

Of course what Trump did there was quit before he could be fired or dumped a girlfriend/boyfriend before they dump you. Trump also doesn't understand that you can't rescind an invitation that was never given or that was not going to be accepted anyway.

As every day passes he is showing that he doesn't care about anyone but his base, the rest of us be damned.

If not a racist then Trump is a man who has no problem being associated with racist or defending them.

The man has shown us who he is. Believe him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trump's pick for head of HBCU initiative lacks experience in academia or government

President Trump's pick to lead the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities fits the mold of many of the administration's key appointments.

Like many administration officials, Johnathan Holifield, a speaker and consultant named executive director of the HBCU Initiative Monday, has a track record in the private sector but practically no experience in government or with the institutions he'd be working to advance. Organizations representing historically black colleges offered tentative praise of the pick. But commentators on issues affecting minority institutions were quick to note Holifield's lack of experience working with HBCUs.

Reactions among some observers of HBCU institutions verged on befuddlement.

Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, said entrepreneurship and innovation are important objectives for institutions to pursue. But she also said it was important for anyone in the office to have a deep familiarity with historically black colleges and their needs.

Gasman said she was skeptical, however, that any executive director would accomplish much in this administration.

"I don’t see Trump caring about HBCUs, as he has demonstrated this lack of care," she said. "I hope that Holifield does well, but I don’t see anyone working with the Trump administration having autonomy or being able to make substantial important changes."

Julianne Malveaux, an author and former president of Bennett College in North Carolina, said Holifield has tremendous business acumen. But she noted that many other individuals with entrepreneurial experience have also been more engaged with historically black colleges.

"The 45th president has done little to earn the trust of the HBCU community; this appointment does not engender trust, but instead suggests a 'wait, see and hope for the best' attitude," Malveaux said.

[Inside Higher Ed