Dietra Trent Is the New Leader of the White House Initiative on HBCUs

Dietra Trent is the new executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The organization was founded in 1980 as the White House Initiative on HBCUs to “achieve a significant increase in the participation by historically Black colleges and universities in federally sponsored programs.” The initiative is now charged with “advancing educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity through HBCUs, in partnership with HBCU leaders, representatives, students, and alumni.”

Since 2019, Dr. Trent has been serving as chief of staff for the president of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Earlier, she was secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, after serving as deputy secretary of education and director of constituent services under earlier state administrations.

Dr. Trent is a graduate of Virginia State University, where she majored in criminal justice. She holds a master of public administration degree and a Ph.D. in public policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.


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  1. HBCU Watch says:

    This “Johnny Come Lately” appointment is another glaring example of the utter disrespect from the racist “Jim Crow” Biden Administration and HBCUs. Just pause for moment, the dismissive Biden Administration literally waited almost one year to appointment someone as the executive director for the WHI-HBCUs. Really! The WHI-HBCUs is nothing but a “feel good” aka “paper tiger” organization because it has NO AUTHORITY, NO SUBSTANTIVE BUDGET in any capacity.

    In reference to Deitra, this lady is woefully unqualified to be a policy and fiscal fighter for HBCUs because she’s never held any administrative position at any HBCUs. Further, simply having obtained a BA degree from an HBCU which DOES NOT automatically qualify you to be the leading voice for HBCUs. Also, Dietra, during your time at VCU can you provide verified empirical evidence how your work resulted in Richmond being more equitable and inclusive for native born Black Americans in Richmond.

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