NAFEO Signature Programs
NAFEO POLICY & ADVOCACY
The cornerstone of NAFEO’s work is its advocacy on behalf of the overarching issues and interests of paramount concern to the diverse HBCUs and PBIs, and their stakeholders. NAFEO leads in advocating on behalf of its members in executive, administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government, by educating and strategically placing before these branches of government the media, national and global outlets, HBCU and PBI students, executives, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni, “the voices for HBCUs and HBIs.”
Annually, NAFEO leads its members in assisting in shaping and championing an HBCU Community Congressional Budget, in working with Members of Congress from both major parties, in both Houses of Congress in reauthorizing legislation of greatest importance to HBCUs, PBIs and their stakeholder communities, and in securing more, and more strategic investments in these institutions and their stakeholders, in 14 congressional appropriations. NAFEO also works with the state legislatures and State Higher Education Executives (SHEEOs) in every state in which there is an HBCU or PBI.
NAFEO played a central role in Advancing the issues and interests of its members in all of the coronavirus special appropriations and in ensuring optimal investments in its members in both the Build Back Better Framework and the infrastructure bill of 2021, which are in final phases of congressional reconciliation. We are having tremendous results as the result of the more diverse Congress, owing to the Voting Rights Act, the tremendous strategic alliances we have forged and maintained through the ages, and the new ones we have established in recent years, and especially, the tremendous return on the investments in HBCUs.
The most compelling reason for investments in NAFEO member institutions is their return on investments: HBCUs have a $15 billion short-term economic impact. HBCUs are just 4% of American colleges and universities, yet they graduate 50% of African American public school education professionals; in excess of 40% of African Americans who earn advanced degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); 60% of African American health professionals; 52% of African Americans in agriculture and sustainability disciplines, and 44% of African Americans with Communications Technology degrees.
KIRKLAND & ELLIS LAW FIRM FUNDED NAFEO INITIATIVES
On November 18, 2021, Kirkland & Ellis announced that it would donate $12.5 million to seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), nonprofits and community organizations with missions to advance racial justice, equity and civil rights, that would deploy the funds for scholarships, fellowships and public interest internships for students.
The donated funds were statutory fees awarded to Kirkland by the state of Maryland as a part of its landmark $577 million settlement with a coalition of students, faculty and alumni of its four public HBCUs. For 12 years, Kirkland represented the coalition on a pro bono basis, alongside the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The coalition sued the state for failure to dismantle the remnants of its former segregated higher education system. NAFEO laid the foundation for the historic settlement in the Coalition for Excellence and Equity in Higher Education vs. Maryland Higher Education Commission, et al, when it filed the initial Office for Civil Rights complaint against the State of Maryland because of the disparities in funding between its Historically Black Colleges and Universities and its Historically White Colleges and Universities. NAFEO represented the State’s four HBCUs-its members- pro bono for twenty years, before OCR, three Maryland administrative bodies, and the state legislature, before the Lawyers Committee and Kirkland & Ellis took over and masterfully advanced the case to victory.
NAFEO PRESIDENTIAL PEER SEMINAR
The Presidential Peer Seminar is designed to provide the HBCU and PBI presidents with information, inspiration, new skills and relationships to enhance their ability to serve at the helm of their institutions, meet the many demands of governance, and better serve their stakeholders. It also facilitates formal and informal meetings among and between government, corporate, NGO, and philanthropic CEOs and CEOs of HBCUs and PBIs in a relaxed setting. The Peer Seminar affords presidents and chancellors an opportunity to build fraternity and to spend facilitated formal and informal time with their colleagues, their mates and with select people they invite to join them because of the vital role they play in an arena central to the mission of HBCUs and PBIs HBCUS, PBIs, or because of a new publication, presentation or innovation they have of interest to members.
A special part of the Presidential Peer Seminar is the Freshmen Presidents’ Boot Camp. The Boot Camp is designed to assist freshmen HBCU and PBI presidents to get their grounding, understand controlling laws, policies and resources, and to forge relationships important to their presidency. In the past few years, we have had an average of twenty (20) new HBCU and PBI presidents and chancellors participate in the Presidential Peer Seminar, with about 65 more senior presidents and chancellors.
NAFEO Freshmen Presidents and Chancellors Boot Camp & All Presidents Training Institute (Attendant to Presidential Peer Seminar)
HBCU Freshmen Presidents’ Boot Camp and Training Institute is part of the NAFEO Presidential Peer Seminar. As the membership and advocacy association for all HBCUs and PBIs, NAFEO provides a range of support services for these presidents. Among the membership services are:
The Freshmen Presidents Boot Camp for new HBCU presidents takes place during the NAFEO Presidential Peer Seminar (PPS) with senior presidents conducting workshops, formal and informal discussion groups for freshmen presidents for one full day during its three-day PPS, then subsequently serving in “on call” mentor-protégé relationships in which the mentors guide the freshman through the challenges and opportunities emanating from serving at the helm of one of America’s HBCUs or PBIs. The Freshmen Presidents’ Training Institute Once Freshmen presidents/chancellors complete the “Boot Camp” and the freshmen presidents are assigned a mentor, the presidents who have served at least one full year at the helm of and HBCU or PBI provide training in practical, hands-on matters that they typically encounter, such as budgeting, financial management, accreditation, governance, fundraising, student services, understanding and complying with federal and state laws and regulations, governing HBCUs, and alumni, governmental, foundation and corporate relations. It also offers skills development in building support networks, civic engagement, marketing, social media management, and community outreach.
NAFEO National Dialogue on Blacks in Higher Education; HBCUs on the Hill, & Salute to Congressional Champions
NAFEO’s National Dialogue on Blacks in Higher Education has been the Nation’s premiere national confab on higher education equity and access: a virtual “who’s who” of American education, political, social and thought leaders on higher education; the presidents and chancellors of the nation’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and in excess of 25 of the 80 presidents of Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), federal and state policymakers and executives. The NAFEO National Dialogue has brought together administrators, faculty, students, alumni, board members, admissions and academic affairs professionals, procurement officers, human resources directors, student service professionals and others from across the nation. NAFEO’s convenings have attracted business, philanthropic, government, advocacy, civic, faith, constitutional, civil rights, and social justice champions, and student leaders, to exchange information about America’s HBCUs and PBIs and blacks in higher education.
At the Dialogue, the delegates reach consensus on a multi-year National Agenda on Blacks in Higher Education on which their delegates work for months in advance of the convening. The National Dialogue includes HBCUs on the Hill Day which includes congressional visits, congressional hearings or roundtables on the State of America’s Black Colleges, and a Salute to Congressional Champions. The National Dialogue also hosts town hall meetings, learning laboratories, institutes, and roundtable discussions.
HBCU TECH FOUNDATION
Founded in 2018, as an independent, 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit association, The HBCU Technology Foundation was established to spur Historically Black College and University (HBCU) technological innovation and monetization, primarily through sustainable partnerships between HBCUs, corporations, non-governmental associations, foundations, federal, state, county and municipal agencies. The HBCU Technology Foundation will enable Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to generate new, independent revenue streams through the acquisition, licensing, and protection of intellectual property assets issued from industry leading technology companies. The HBCU Technology Foundation will also assist research-intensive HBCUs develop disruptive technologies and expand their intellectual property portfolios by leveraging the HBCU Technology Foundation’s growing suite of powerful and convenient technology transfer services.
The HBCU Technology Foundation’s intellectual property portfolios will also provide exciting opportunities for HBCUs to provide clinical learning environments for law students, business students, and STEM students to receive hands-on experience in developing and commercializing valuable intellectual property assets.
NAFEO Campus Plus Community (CPC/ COMMUNIVERSITY Development
The Campus Plus Community development program is a transformative redevelopment approach for HBCU campuses and the communities surrounding their campuses. CPC offers a structured development program that will allow HBCUs to build state-of-the-art on and off campus facilities.
Development activities range from on campus projects directly related to improving the academic environment, to off-campus projects focused on improving economic vitality of the adjacent community environment. Whether on-campus or off-campus, the projects will enhance the HBCU’s ability to attract new students and increase enrollment. The on-campus projects may include innovation research centers, student housing facilities, classroom buildings, administrative office buildings, libraries, student centers, athletic facilities; parking facilities ; and other types of on-campus mixed-use facilities
Off-campus projects will be located within a one-mile radius of the campus or on the perimeter of the campus where direct access is provided to the general public, and those projects may include: mixed-use residential or commercial projects, hospitality projects (e.g., hotels) healthcare projects (e.g., hospitals), retail projects; and office buildings.
The biggest plus of Communiversity is that the development is done through the membership association of the HBCUs and PBIs, an independent association.
Student & Faculty Leadership Development Internships & Apprenticeships
For more than three decades, the NAFEO internship, fellowship, ambassadorship, and apprenticeship opportunities offer students an opportunity for practical, hands-on experience and career-building service with federal agencies, corporations, small-female, minority-owned businesses, publishing houses, tech companies, and so many other growth and high need industries, and “graying industries.” These career service training grounds, offer the students an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of federal and state government, corporations and NGOs, while augmenting the knowledge they acquire in the classroom with real life experiences and enriching the targeted workforces. The opportunities provide the employers/placement centers an opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the excellence, intellectual curiosity, passion, and professionalism of HBCU and PBI students who are excelling in many disciplines, disproportionately in high needs and growth disciplines.