President Donald Trump on Tuesday appointed Johnny Taylor Jr., former president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as chair of the president’s board of advisers for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
During an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to announce the appointment, Trump said Taylor will “advance the cause” of HBCUs, which he said is “a major priority of our administration.”
“We have made great strides in strengthening HBCUs, a cherished and vital institution in our country,” the president said.
Taylor, a D.C. civil rights activist and attorney, has for the past several months served as president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. He was also one of the most vocal supporters of the Trump administration’s approach to HBCUs last year when the president invited HBCU college presidents to the White House.
Taylor said HBCUs are seeking to capitalize on the economic growth under the Trump administration.
“Every year, over 300,000 students turn to these institutions for their education and to prepare them for their careers,” said Taylor, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native. “This president’s advisory board can be a nexus between higher educational institutions and employers.”
Taylor’s appointment comes at a time when HBCUs affected by Hurricane Katrina have been granted loan forgiveness by the Trump administration for funds they borrowed to repair their campuses in the aftermath of the 2005 storm. Trump has also earmarked more than $500 million in his forthcoming budget to help HBCUs to “improve their competitiveness.”
“Taylor is the best choice for this position because he is a true HBCU advocate,” TMCF officials said in a statement. “He knows the entire Black college community extremely well, and he has the passion, judgment and expertise to be an effective leader on the president’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.”