White House Cancels Conference at Historically Black Alabama A&M

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities has canceled the 2011 HBCU Technical Conference that was scheduled to take place next month on the campus of Alabama A&M University.

John Silvanus Wilson Jr., executive director of the White House Initiative, stated that the conference was canceled due to the political climate in Washington. He said that his office needed to “focus considerable energy, time, and other resources” to mount efforts to fight proposed budget cuts for the Pell Grant program. He also cited the failure of Congress and the Executive Branch to agree on a budget as a reason for not holding the conference. “We need to devote our limited funds to tighter, more cost-effective ways to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs,” Wilson said.

Wilson also made clear that the cancellation had nothing whatsoever to do with Alabama A&M University. He praised the university for its efforts in hosting last year’s event.