Education Announces National HBCU Week Conference

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Executive Summary:

  • 2023 National HBCU Week Conference in Arlington, Virginia from September 24-28.
  • Cardona highlights $7.3 billion investment directly to HBCUs.
  • 12th Project SERV grant: Over $287,000 to Dillard University, New Orleans for trauma response.
  • Dillard University hires two mental health counselors, offers teletherapy, and training.
  • Cardona emphasizes importance and impact of HBCUs, highlights record investments.
  • Conference theme: “Raising the Bar: Forging Excellence through Innovation & Leadership.”
  • White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Dr. Dietra Trent stresses HBCUs’ significance.

Unedited Press Release Text:

U.S. Department of Education Announces National HBCU Week Conference

Provides additional Project SERV Grant funding in wake of bomb threats on HBCU campuses

Today, the Biden-Harris administration is announcing that it will host the 2023 National HBCU Week Conference in Arlington, Virginia on September 24-28th. The annual National HBCU Week Conference is the nation’s premier convening of key influencers in the HBCU space. This announcement comes during the third stop of the Department of Education’s “Back to School Bus Tour,” where Secretary Cardona will visit a Missouri HBCU, Harris-Stowe State University to highlight the administration’s unprecedented support for HBCUs and student, including $7.3 billion in cumulative investments directly to HBCUs to date.

The Biden-Harris administration is also announcing its 12th Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant to Dillard University to address bomb threats the school received. Dillard, which is an HBCU located in New Orleans, Louisiana, was awarded over $287,000 to hire two fulltime mental health counselors to support university community members who are still managing anxiety following the incident. Dillard will also be using SERV funds for one year support of teletherapy for every member of the university community, as well as training programs for faculty, students, and staff to help cope and recover from the trauma caused by the incident. Dillard joins several HBCUs that have been previously awarded Project SERV grants.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities have embodied leadership, excellence, and innovation for centuries, continually punching above their weight and producing barrier-breaking graduates in every field imaginable,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “President Biden’s support for HBCUs has resulted in record investments in these institutions, and our National HBCU Week Conference gives higher education leaders, public officials, advocates and outside partners an opportunity to build on this momentum. At a time when the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in higher education are under attack across our country, working together to support HBCUs and the students they serve is more important than ever before.”

The theme for this year’s HBCU Week Conference is Raising the Bar: Forging Excellence through Innovation & Leadership. HBCU Week provides administrators, faculty, and students an opportunity to meet and interact with key leaders, including federal agency officials and financial executives, private sector representatives and business professionals, and financial aid executives. The conference will include remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and senior administration officials, and it provides direct information to HBCU administrators and leaders on the subjects related to promoting educational excellence, innovation, and equity.

“HBCUs have been critically important to providing educational opportunity for generations of Black Americans and broader communities of color,” said Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs Dr. Dietra Trent. “HBCU Week will feature workshops, engagements, keynote addresses and interactive exhibits that will connect vital federal and private resources to the HBCU community.”

The National HBCU Week Conference is coordinated by the White House Initiative on HBCUs in close consultation with the Executive Office of the President and the U.S. Department of Education. The event provides an opportunity for federal agencies, private sector companies and philanthropic organizations to convene and provide useful information and successful models to improve instruction, degree completion and federal engagement, all of which strengthen the role of HBCUs.

Some of the sessions will be presented by:

  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of State
  • General Services Administration

The full 2023 National HBCU Week Conference agenda is available here. Interested press can submit their request to cover certain portions in person at



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