By Joel B. Pollak
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) released a $75 billion plan Friday aimed specifically at helping African-Americans overcome the wealth gap. The plan includes $60 billion to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and $12 billion to support black entrepreneurs.
The Root notes the details of the plan:
Harris’ latest plan to address the wealth gap calls for pumping $60 billion into HBCUs, like her alma mater Howard, and other “minority-serving institutions” or MSIs, to increase the number of black graduates in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] programs.
Under her plan, $10 billion would be allocated to a fund to help HBCUs build out their STEM facilities, while another $50 billion would be provided in a competitive fund to help HBCUs and MSIs do such things as provide students with scholarships, support post-doctoral fellows, build curriculum, and gird cutting-edge research programs.
Harris also said she will provide another $2.5 billion toward HBCU programs that train black teachers.
Harris’ plan also calls for helping African Americans start small businesses by creating a $12 billion “capital grant and technical support” program, with the funds distributed by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency.
(Read the full article at The Root here.)
Harris is on record supporting a form of reparations for slavery. She told NPR earlier this year that the reparations could involve spending on mental health for African-Americans, adding: “What I mean by [reparations] is that we need to study the effects of generations of discrimination and institutional racism and determine what can be done, in terms of intervention, to correct course.”
President Donald Trump has also made support for HBCUs a central focus of his education policy, and a core part of his outreach to the black community.