The Inaugural Class at the Dedication: Senator Carper, Kyle West, Nina Jones, Brionna Greer, Malik Singleton, Deja Mayfield, Speaker Pelosi, Anyiah Chambers, Jackie Lewish, Rep. Charlie Crist, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

This past November the HBCU National Center was dedicated and HBCU presidents, staff, students, and Congressional Supporters were honored.

The evening began with an introduction from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Speaker Pelosi emphasized that supporting HBCUs is a “patriotic duty” and that the government must invest in the pools of talent that the country’s HBCUs contain. “What I’ve also said to friends is that it’s important for HBCUs to participate very fully in grants from the Federal Government in every way. In order for that to happen, they have to have the facilities…when the talent is able to thrive it produces results we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Speaker Pelosi Said.

The dedication was hosted by Associated Press Assignment Manager of U.S. Video and National Press Club president, Lisa Matthews. Matthews is the 114th president of the National Press Club and just the second woman of color to fill the role. She introduced the inaugural class of HBCU National Center Students (listed below) and the Center’s many honored guests.

In addition to Speaker Pelosi, guests heard from Senator Tom Carper, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and President of Kentucky State University. They all shared their experiences of either working in Congress to support HBCUs or their experience working at or attending an HBCU.

Kentucky State University President Clara Stamps said to attendees, “The value and exposure I got when I got to Capitol Hill, and to be a poor little girl from Mississippi, was something that impacted my life forever. Kentucky State University has three students here and we are so proud of them, we believe in our students…it is so important to invest in our young people. They can become what they see. Thank you for opening the Center, it is going to open doors for many young people.”

At the end of the dedication students Deja Mayfield, Brionna Greer, and Anyiah Chambers all took some time to speak on their experience thus far with the HBCU National Center. “”Being here has shown me I could be a congresswoman someday, and now I get to take that back to the girls I mentor and share that with them,” Kentucky State University Senior, Brionna Greer said.

The HBCU National Center is thankful for such a successful first semester and dedication and looks forward to bringing more next generation leaders to DC for years to come