- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2019

Sen. Kamala D. Harris on Friday unveiled a set of proposals that would direct a total of $74.5 billion toward efforts to support math, science and teacher programs at black colleges and universities and to expand access to capital for black entrepreneurs.

Ms. Harris said that if elected president, she would invest $60 billion in science, engineering, math and technology (STEM) programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

“HBCUs have always been part of training our future, and now in the midst of a technical and technological and digital revolution, we must ensure that everyone participates in the wealth that it creates,” the California Democrat said during an appearance at the National Urban League’s annual conference in Indianapolis.

She said she would also put $2.5 billion into supporting teacher programs at HBCUs, saying that black children are more likely to attend college if they have at least one black teacher before the end of third grade.

Ms. Harris also said that as president, she would work to direct $12 billion toward efforts designed to boost black entrepreneurs and business owners through initiatives like federal grants and contracting programs.

“By taking these challenges on, we don’t just move black America forward,” she said. “All of America moves forward. All of America will benefit.”

Ms. Harris and other 2020 candidates are working to shore up support among African-American voters, who make up a significant part of the Democratic primary electorate in states like South Carolina.

She picked up support in some polling taken shortly after last month’s first presidential debate, where she went after former Vice President Joseph R. Biden for his past stance on busing to desegregate schools.

Other recent surveys, though, have shown that Mr. Biden remains the clear front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and that he has retained relatively solid support from black voters.

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