Jones to host first HBCU Summit in Birmingham

On Friday, Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL, will host his rst annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summit at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham.

The summit is designed to provide students, teachers and administrators with an opportunity to “exchange ideas and earn skills through workshops on grant writing and career preparedness,” according to a press release issued by Jones’ office Monday.

The event will also feature an on-site jobs fair and provide students with the chance to meet with prospective employers.

Jones will deliver the opening remarks for the summit and discuss issues facing Alabama’s HBCU community, which has been a focus of his tenure in the Senate – Jones secured a 14-percent increase in federal resources for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in the March 2018 spending bill and is planning to introduce legislation to permanently extend and increase funding for MSIs.

The keynote speaker for the inaugural summit will be John Stallworth, an Alabama native and former Pittsburgh Steelers widereceiver who currently serves as Board Chairman of the John Stallworth Foundation.

Stallworth launched the foundation in 1980 while still playing for the Steelers as a way to give back to his community. As of 2013, the foundation has provided tuition assistance for up to 10 “academically gifted freshmen” who attend Alabama A&M University, Stallworth’s alma mater, and 10 more attending other universities in the state.

The event will kick off at 10:15 a.m. Following remarks from Jones, the senator will moderate a panel discussion on strengthening Alabama’s workforce with Lawson State Community College President Dr. Perry Ward, Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Marc Bayard, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and others.

Later in the day, Jones will lead another panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing HBCUs alongside Thurdgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO Dr. Harry Williams, Miles College President Dr. George French, Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton Ross and others.

By Adam Powell of the Selma Times-Journal