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February 11, 2020

Chairman Thompson Lauds Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Partnerships between HBCUs and Homeland Security

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced House passage of H.R. 1494, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Homeland Security Partnerships Act, legislation which would strengthen the partnerships between HBCUs and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Minority communities are disproportionately impacted by natural hazards and disasters. It is imperative that the students from those communities – HBCU and MSI students – are not left on the sidelines and are encouraged to contribute to their communities and are equipped to respond,” said Chairman Thompson.  “Enactment of my bill will take a step in this direction.  It requires DHS to develop a strategy to strengthen its capacity to provide research and development, contracting, internship and career opportunities to HBCUs, MSIs, their students or recent graduates. I hope my Senate colleagues take up this legislation quickly.”

In 2017, the Trump Administration established an initiative to provide equitable opportunities for HBCUs to participate in Federal programs – however, in practice, the partnerships between DHS and HBCUs have fallen short of the Department’s stated priorities.

The HBCUs Homeland Security Partnerships Act would require DHS to issue a goal-based strategy to achieve stronger partnerships with HBCUs – and then monitor and report on that strategy, thereby ensuring the Department’s progress in providing contracting, research and development, and career opportunities to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions.

H.R. 1494 Fact Sheet

H.R. 1494 Full Text

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Press Contact

Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978