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Black Institutions of Higher Learning Honor NEA President


WASHINGTON - March 13, 2008 -

A group representing predominantly and historically Black colleges and universities has recognized National Education Association President Reg Weaver for his leadership in providing what it calls “a well prepared, diverse teacher corps.” HBCU President (right) with NEA President Reg Weaver

The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education gave Weaver its Presidential Award during the group’s annual conference on Blacks in higher education.

NAFEO represents 103 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 20 Predominantly Black Institutions.

“The NAFEO membership selected Mr. Weaver to receive this year’s Presidential Award in recognition for his sterling service at the helm of NEA,” said NAFEO President Lezli Baskerville. “They are especially excited about the Tom Joyner Foundation-NEA Teacher Licensure Scholarship Program.”

NEA and Tom Joyner, the nationally syndicated radio personality and philanthropist, announced a new $1.1 million grant in February to expand the program. It now covers 10 historically Black colleges and universities and is designed to boost the number of fully certified teachers in minority and hard-to-staff public schools nationwide.

In accepting the Presidential Award, Weaver thanked NAFEO’s officers and directors and drew attention to the nation’s dropout crisis and its effect on minority neighborhoods. He noted the schools in these neighborhoods are often crumbling and in need of repair, textbooks are older, and students are at a real disadvantage.

“Minority children have a 60 percent chance of dropping out and an even greater chance of stepping into America’s prison system if they fail to graduate,” said Weaver. “Those who sit in the seats of power must decide to change the status quo.”

NAFEO’s national conference on Blacks in higher education is now in its 33rd year. This year’s theme is “A National Dialogue on America’s Black Colleges: Strengthening the Foundation, Shaping the Future.” 

“We must continue to pressure and educate the Congress and other stakeholders to support and strengthen America’s historically Black colleges,” said Weaver. “There is no way to measure their tremendous contributions. They are a part of the great American story.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Brian Washington  (202) 822-7823