Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLBC) visited the historic Cheyney University of Pennsylvania campus on Monday, September 18, 2017. This visit was part of the annual White House National Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) week to host a student-focused town hall forum that centered on the importance of the HBCU and students mobilizing change.
Congressman Dwight Evans, who represents Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District and is one of the 49 members that compose the CBC, and members of the PLBC, also aimed to create synergy between legislators and the student body. During the meeting, held here at the nation’s oldest historically Black college, various questions and concerns were raised by students regarding the institutions current challenges.
“I wanted to join the PLBC to heighten the importance of the HBCU and what it has meant not only to America but the world. When you look at the people that historically Black colleges have produced, we need to reinforce and raise their value,” said Evans.
Evens and PLBC members, brought optimism to the packed house of students, faculty, staff and Cheyney community members in the Carnegie Hall Great Room by collectively urging all to remain resilient and to view Cheyney’s issues as temporary hurdles. The legislators also advised students to use their voice to create groups that spark critical conversations and effect constructive change, as a positive way to leave their legacy at their future alma mater.
“We have some work to do and we have to work together. We have to work with the students, the faculty, the Council of Trustees, Board of Governors, the state and the federal government. We have to do it together, it’s not just one single element – it’s all working together,” Evans reinforced.
Members of the PLBC in attendance included: Chairman, Representative Jordan A. Harris, Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Joanna E. McClinton, Rep. Christopher M. Rabb, and Rep. James R. Roebuck, Jr., Rep. Jake Wheatley. Sitting in for Senator Vincent Hughes was Tiffany A. Wilson, Director, Constituent Activities in the Office of Senator Vincent Hughes. Staff to Congressman Evans Kendra Brown, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director also sat on the panel. Cheyney alumnus and Trustee, Samuel Patterson was also in attendance and addressed the audience during the forum.