Statement

Statement of Raymond C. Pierce, President and CEO, Southern Education Foundation, on President Biden’s Education and Childcare Proposals in His Joint Address to Congress

Education Equity Leader Praises Proposals to Expand Access to High-Quality Childcare and Education, Invest in HBCUs

MEDIA CONTACT:  Gretchen Wright, gwright@southerneducation.org, (202) 421-5830

April 29, 2021 (Atlanta, Georgia) —The Southern Education Foundation released the following statement from its President and CEO regarding President Joe Biden’s education proposals in his joint address to Congress:

The founders and other figures who established and built the Southern Education Foundation–the nation’s oldest organization promoting education equity–knew what President Joe Biden expressed last night: We will never achieve true equity in our nation without education equity.

President Biden laid out an uplifting, hopeful, and common-sense approach to advancing equity in the United States by making necessary investments in high-quality, accessible childcare, in high-quality, accessible education from pre-k through community college, and in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities that develop leaders like Vice President Kamala Harris, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Congressman John Lewis, and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

As the President noted, “throughout our history, public investment in infrastructure has literally transformed America. Our attitudes as well as our opportunities… Universal public schools and college aid opened wide the doors of opportunity.” The legacy of the Southern Education Foundation is the establishment of the public school system in the South and the creation Historically Black Colleges and Universities, following the Civil War, that opened the doors to opportunity for the newly emancipated and their children, as well as students from low-income families. Today, we build on that work to advance education equity and opportunity across the South.

We at the Southern Education Foundation stand with the President and we urge Congress to support his American Families Plan. It is time to take the opportunity to deliver the real equity the President spoke of and to continue the movement forward that he initiated.

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Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation also has a long history of developing leaders in education and was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at https://southerneducation.org