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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [09/13/2010]
Contact Name: Bennet Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 10-1293-NAT

Statement of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week:

"President Obama declared this week National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I join him in celebrating the tremendous achievements of HBCUs and the many contributions that these institutions of higher learning and their graduates have made to our nation.

"HBCUs were born to provide a way forward when the path for African-Americans and other people of color was blocked by the vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow. As pillars of American academia and society as whole, HBCUs have produced some of the world's foremost doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, inventors, literary greats and public officials. American icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Vice Adm. Dr. Regina Benjamin — and countless others who have helped shape American history — hail from HBCUs. In fact, the impact of HBCU graduates extends across the nation and around the globe.

"On a personal level, I have had the honor of working with such HBCU alumni as Reps. Gregory Meeks, Kendrick Meek, Elijah Cummings, Danny Davis, Corrine Brown, James Clyburn, Jesse Jackson Jr., Emanuel Cleaver, Edolphus Towns, John Lewis, Bennie Thompson and David Scott, among others. Each one is a great example of the high caliber of leadership that HBCUs have helped bring to American public service.

"Today, as the secretary of labor, I also look to HBCUs as key partners in training America's workforce. Many HBCUs are leading producers of African-Americans in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical areas — a skill set of great importance to America in this century.

"HBCUs are truly a critical part of our past, our present and our future, and I proudly join President Barack Obama in saluting them this week."