Prairie State College in Chicago Heights and South Suburban College in South Holland will be beneficiaries of a new Congressional Caucus focused on educating policymakers and uplifting the needs of predominantly Black institutions.
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill), representing Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress, has joined with Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), and Rep. Jonathan Jackson (D-Ill) in establishing this new program.
The Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Caucus will unite policymakers who share the goal of understanding and advancing policies to support PBIs.
Prairie State College
“There are not enough words to express my personal gratitude, and the gratitude of the Prairie State College community, to Reps. Davis, Clarke, Jackson, and Kelly for their formation of the PBI Caucus,” said PSC President Michael Anthony.
“Rep. Kelly is a resident of our district and a long-time supporter of our work. As a former faculty member at PSC, she knows that we, and other PBI’s, are on the front lines of teaching the next generation of Black and low-income scholars, while simultaneously meeting the workforce needs of our community and local employers.”
South Suburban College
“At South Suburban College, we support the creation of the Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions Caucus, extending our appreciation to Representatives Davis, Clarke, Jackson, and Kelly for championing Predominantly Black Institutions,” said SSC President Lynette Stokes. “These institutions are vital in offering accessible higher education, particularly for marginalized students, and are often a gateway to the collegiate journey for minority and low-income populations.
“As a dedicated institution to student achievement, we recognize the invaluable role PBIs play in promoting educational equity. SSC looks forward to collaborating with the PBI Caucus, striving to advance policies that empower PBIs in their mission to deliver high-quality education,” Stokes said.
Predominately Black Institutions
PBIs were established in 2007 through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, to expand access to important federal grants to assist institutions with limited institutional wealth to include colleges and universities serving large percentages of low-income African American students.
PBIs represent an increasing cadre of four-year and two-year institutions that serve as the access point for a growing number of urban and rural Black students whose personal and financial situations limit their ability to pursue higher education in many states. There are approximately 110 such institutions that serve over 480,000 students.
PBIs are required to meet stringent eligibility requirements related to student enrollment, family income, institutional wealth, and percentage of minority students. The PBI Caucus will work to help policymakers understand the needs of PBIs so that policies better assist these important institutions.
“I’m proud to support Predominantly Black Institutions across the nation and at home in the Chicagoland area. PBIs foster Black student success, offer direct support to first-generation and low-income students, and address some of the most pressing challenges facing Black students,” said Rep. Kelly.
Other schools covered by the caucus’s work are Chicago State University, Olive-Harvey College, Kennedy-King College, City Colleges of Chicago and Malcolm X College in Chicago and Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY).