CSU Celebrates Establishment of Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions Caucus

CSU, Founding Member of the National Coalition for Predominantly Black Institutions, Celebrates the Establishment of the Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions Caucus

Seal of the United States CongressChicago State University commends CSU alumnus and U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL) together with Representative Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Representative Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), and Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) on the historic establishment of the Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Caucus. The Caucus will unite policymakers who share the goal of understanding and affirmatively advancing policies to support our nation's PBIs.

The formation of the PBI Caucus was a critical milestone for the National Coalition of Predominantly Black Institutions of Higher Education, which was co-founded by Chicago State University (CSU) and the University of Baltimore (UBalt) in 2021. It has grown into partnerships with 21 colleges and universities across 13 states working together to educate our Congressional leaders, the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and others on PBI’s impact in advancing Black students to access and secure a college education.

This time in history could not have been reached without the intentional efforts from the PBI Coalition Steering Committee, which includes CSU, UBalt, Bloomfield College of Montclair State University, and Trinity Washington College.

“We want to thank Reps. Davis, a Chicago State University alumnus, and Clarke, Jackson, and Kelly, for their leadership in forming the Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions Caucus, lifting up the importance of PBI institutions in supporting Black students in higher education all across the nation. PBIs are a important component of Minority Serving Institutions and play an important role in providing opportunities for college completion to millions of students, often low-income or the first in their family to attend college, and the new PBI caucus will amplify the federal focus and engagement on priorities vital to the success of these priorities and important to this classification of MSIs," said Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, JD, President of Chicago State University in a press release from the Congressional PBI Caucus.

PBIs represent approximately 110 four-year and two-year institutions that serve as the access point for more than 480,000 urban and rural Black students whose personal and financial situations limit their ability to pursue higher education in many states. These institutions have minimal institutional wealth and serve a population of students who are low-income, minority, and first-generation, and whose personal finances present special challenges to educational success.  PBIs are required to meet stringent eligibility requirements related to student enrollment, family income, institutional wealth, and percentage of minority students. The PBI Caucus will work to help policymakers understand the needs of PBIs so that policies better assist these important institutions.

Illinois is home to six PBIs, which enroll nearly 25 percent of the state’s African American students in postsecondary institutions. CSU has also led efforts to increase the recognition of PBIs at the state level, including forming an Illinois Center for Education Equity to advance equitable access to higher education.

CSU and the members of the PBI Steering Committee and National PBI Coalition understand that the formation of the Congressional PBI Caucus is an important advancement toward improving equitable access to higher education and look forward to continuing to press for the recognition of and gaining vital funding for America’s PBIs.