There were over 40 guests in attendance, with selected student journalists as representatives for the gathering. Students were granted the opportunity to ask questions that addressed a variety of different social issues. Harris and Bottoms answered a few questions, including ones that acknowledged the lack of funding for HBCUs, mental health, and environmental injustice.
Bottoms addressed questions related to the concerns of underfunding for HBCUs and how the Biden-Harris Administration has invested and will continue to invest in the advancement of higher education through solving issues such as debt relief and grant funding for students nationally. She also mentioned the importance of being aware of local elections and advocating for college peers to vote so that students are represented fairly, and the needs of the community are met by the electors. “Be sure to lean in on your representatives and own your space as the powerful student leaders you all are,” Bottoms said.
Harris answered questions about the presence of African American culture in the U.S. and also acknowledged the environmental justice work the Biden-Harris Administration is diligently progressing toward to support low-income communities and to uplift more clean-air environments. Vice President Harris spoke with words of wisdom and encouragement as she explained that our presence here in America starts with us recognizing that we are THE voice to educate others across the world about who we are as emerging leaders of tomorrow. “Have the confidence to be in any room and never feel small,” Harris said. “You are not alone.”
Personally, as an attendee, both trailblazing women sparked a light in me that can only be expressed by my future actions of leadership and service to my beloved Shaw University. This opportunity was special, and I’m extremely grateful.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration work for HBCUs, visit