Chaka Fattah: The Congressman Who Focuses on Higher Education Opportunity For African Americans

For the past 20 years, African-American Congressman Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia has hosted the Fattah Conference on Higher Education. The three-day event features workshops and lectures to help black and other minority students prepare for college.

At this year’s conference, Fattah invited 700 black and other minority college students from Pennsylvania to attend the conference as his guests. At a banquet in the hotel’s ballroom, Fattah announced that all 700 students were eligible for free graduate tuition scholarships at 17 participating universities. Any of the 700 students who apply to and are accepted at any of the 17 universities’ graduate programs would receive full tuition scholarships. If all the students join the program, the scholarships could be worth as much as $25 million.

The scholarship money is provided by the universities in conjunction with the State System of Higher Education and the Educational Advancement Alliance, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization seeking greater educational opportunities for minority students. Universities participating in the program are Drexel, Temple, the University of the Sciences, and the 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania state system.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.