On Wednesday, December 4, New Jersey’s Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. spoke on C-Span about the benefits of Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Rep. Payne has been the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 10th congressional district, which includes Essex County, since 2012.
“HBCU’s, at times, are criticized in this country for their necessity, but the creation of HBCU’s comes out of the inability for the larger population to accept minority students at colleges that were already established,” expressed Rep. Payne, Jr. “It is disingenuous to criticize HBCU’s for remedying a problem of inequality that still exists in this nation.”
In his remarks, he praised Bloomfield College, the only Predominately Black Institution (PBI) of higher education in New Jersey, as well as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), for its demonstrated success in the social mobility of its graduates, saying, “Bloomfield College does this at rates that far exceeds other universities.”
“In New Jersey we do not have HBCU’s, but we have many Minority Serving Institutions, take Bloomfield College, for instance,” he said. “Bloomfield College steps in and addresses more than its students’ academic needs…in other words, they solve several social problems at once.”
He was speaking in support of the Future Act and Minority Serving Institutions. He began his time at the podium saying, “MSI’s serve a critical role in our society,” noting that MSI’s have proven their importance, as studies have shown that minority students feel more supported when they are surrounded by their culture and receive better grades in those classrooms. He also shared that students at MSI’s display fewer behavioral problems and their upward mobility skyrockets.
“[Minority Serving Institutions] keep today’s low income students on a path to success,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “They help close the wealth gap…and they provide hope and a future to a segment of America that needs it to so much. In closing, we will continue to advocate for these institutions. We need them to continue to do their service.”
Watch the 6-minute speech here. Bloomfield College is highlighted between minute marks 2:40 and 4:22.