Pictured (left to right): Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College; Z Scott, President of Chicago State University; U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College; and Dr. Michael Anthony, President of President of Prairie State College.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) met with the presidents of four Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) in Illinois last week to discuss federal support for PBI colleges and students. During their meeting, the Senators spoke with the college presidents about ensuring that PBIs receive adequate federal funding, which would help PBIs address capacity buildings, enrollment declines, and student success outcomes.

“Illinois is home to many colleges and universities, including eight Predominantly Black Institutions, that offer a high-quality education and financial support to students,” said Durbin. “I enjoyed meeting with college presidents to discuss how the federal government can continue to work alongside PBIs to provide the best education possible to Illinoisans by removing obstacles to learning for students.”

U.S. Tammy Duckworth speaking with two out four president from Illinois’ Predominantly Black Institutions.

“Predominantly Black Institutions are places to educate America’s students and so much more,” said Duckworth. “They’re reminders of the resilience of African Americans through years of discrimination in education, and they’re places of community, culture and history. Today’s meeting with leaders from Illinois’s coalition of Predominantly Black Institutions was a great opportunity to discuss my support for eliminating barriers and discrimination in higher education and the federal resources these institutions need in the future.”

PBIs are a distinct designation of Minority-Serving Institutions, and they serve high proportions of Black students, first-generation college students, and students from low-income backgrounds. PBIs account for three percent of postsecondary institutions, but enroll nine percent of Black college students. Illinois has eight PBIs that enroll nearly 200,000 students.

Participating presidents in the meeting include:
1. Z Scott, President of Chicago State University
2. Dr. Michael Anthony, President of Prairie State College
3. Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College
4. Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College

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