The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

On June 26, 2012, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans to restore the United States as a global leader in education. President Obama, through his vision and use of his Presidential authority, sought to strengthen the nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages and to help ensure that this population would receive an education that prepares them for college and productive careers to contribute to the wellbeing of society.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Initiative) works with individuals and organizations throughout the country to highlight and share effective national and local programs, policies, and practices that support the development and success of African American students. Specifically, the Initiative highlights and mobilizes youth voice by providing platforms for African American youths to make recommendations for actions that can be taken to ensure all students feel and are safe, supported and engaged in schools, in communities, and in life. Additionally, the Initiative leverages relationships with media partners, new and traditional, to shape positive and affirming narratives of African American students, highlight and disseminate promising and proven practices, as well as provide recommendations to accelerate African American Educational excellence essential to the success of African American students, from birth through college completion and career entry.

To date, the Initiative has focused on the following three guiding principles:

  1. To provide platforms for youth (and other impacted populations) to make recommendations regarding the policies, practices and programs designed to accelerate learning and development;
  2. To highlight people, programs and practices facilitating the learning and development of African Americans students; and
  3. To serve as a liaison between and among communities supporting African American students of all ages.

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“I am honored to have been appointed by President OWhite House Summit on African American LGBTQ Youthbama to lead an Initiative that is both unapologetic and intentional in closing opportunity and achievement gaps facing African American students—all of them. Among the things I am most proud of is providing a platform upon which students themselves are celebrated for their experience and serve as experts in co-facilitating and co-creating excellent educational opportunities.”  David J. Johns, Executive Director

In the News

On September 16th The Next Generation: A College Completion Toolkit for First-Generation and Non-Traditional Students developed by the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans was released during the US Secretary of Education John King’s Bus Tour as part of the College Completion Fact sheet. The toolkit provides information and support for first-generation students, families, and postsecondary institutions that ensure students receive a quality postsecondary education. Included in this toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help families and communities support first-generation African-American students in preparing for college admission. (Toolkit)

On August 17th The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans hosted the White House Summit on African American Educational Excellence at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, MO in partnership with Teach for America and Wells Fargo & Company. (Article)

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