U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20015
On behalf of the 3 million members of the National Education Association—professionals who are dedicated to nurturing the brilliance of all students—I urge you to vote YES on H.Con.Res. 70 “Condemning threats of violence against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and reaffirming support for HBCUs and their students.” Votes on this issue may be included in the NEA Report Card on the 117th Congress.
HBCUs are places where Black excellence is welcomed, cultivated, and celebrated. They hold a unique position within academia not only because of their place in history, but because of their many—and continuing—contributions to America. Sadly, the fact that HBCUs are powerful symbols of resilience and achievement makes them targets of violence for those who seethe with racial resentment and hatred.
At least 20 HBCUs across the country have endured bomb threats this year; several have endured multiple threats. Spelman College, for instance, received three threats by the second week of February. Howard University received four.
NEA members are heartened that the FBI is investigating these crimes, and congressional action would strengthen this investigation. Passage of H.Con.Res. 70 would carry the weight of official condemnation, send a message of solidarity with HBCU communities, and broadcast the seriousness of these threats to the nation.
Imagine being a parent and hearing of a bomb threat on your child’s campus, hundreds of miles from home. Imagine being a faculty or staff member doing your best to teach, support, and nurture students who may be away from home for the first time and are coping with the typical anxieties of such a major transition, along with the novel issues of navigating campus life during a pandemic. Imagine being a student coping with the worries and challenges that all college students face, and at the same time confronting hatred so malevolent that is manifested by a threat of violence that could take your life.
No one should have to live, learn, or work in such circumstances. Please pass H.Con.Res. 70 to denounce those who are threatening to carry out violent attacks against historically Black colleges and universities.
Director of Government Relations
National Education Association