Nearly a quarter of America's colleges and universities have agreed to partner with the President's Initiative on Race to encourage every college and university to conduct special programs focusing on race and other dimensions of diversity in American society. On hand for the October 17 announcement by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), were three advisory board members: Dr. John Hope Franklin, chairman of the Advisory Board; Governor William Winter; and Reverend Suzan Johnson Cook. The combined membership of ACE and AACU represents over 2,100 colleges and universities across the nation.
Advisory Board member Robert Thomas is actively recruiting corporate leaders from across the country to support the goals of the Initiative. Corporate and business leaders have agreed to sponsor regional meetings around the country focusing on best practices, relationships between white and minority-owned companies, and the positive dynamics of diversity within the business community and workplace.
On November 5, the First Lady held a ceremony marking the East Garden exhibit of sculptures that were created by Native American artists. The leaders of all the artist's individual tribes were invited and other tribal leaders attended as well. Earlier on that same day, the First Lady toured a Native American woman's weaving exhibit at the Museum for Women and the Arts in D.C. (November is Native American History month.)
On October 27, in Chicago, the First Lady spoke with students from the program, Facing History and Ourselves. The discussion focused on the impact of her hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. speak there in 1962. Facing History and Ourselves is a national educational organization devoted to teaching about the dangers of indifference and the value of civility through history. By providing teachers introductory workshops and extensive follow up programs throughout the year, Facing History and Ourselves offers strategies to teachers for discussing sensitive issues. The President's Initiative on Race highlights Facing History and Ourselves as a Promising Practice on its Website this week.
North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt hosted a two-day Conference on Racial Reconciliation in Charlotte, Oct. 27-28. Nearly 500 people from various communities, including law enforcement, business, city and county leaders attended the event. Speeches were delivered by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and U.S. Congressional Representatives Eva Clayton and Mel Watt (both from North Carolina). PIR Advisory Board members Dr. John Hope Franklin and Gov. William Winter also participated in the conference.
On October 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report indicating that vaccinations for minority children in the United States have reached record high levels and have met or exceeded most of the 1996 national immunization goals.
The Small Business Administration has announced a marketing campaign to increase the participation of Latino Americans in SBA lending, procurement, counseling and welfare-to-work programs. On October 2, Administrator Aida Alvarez, announced this effort at a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Houston. The campaign includes using large Hispanic businesses and civic groups, as well as materials in Spanish, to reach small Hispanic business owners or potential business owners.
The White House will host a conference on ending hate crimes in America on Monday, November 10, 1997. Members of the President's Advisory Board will participate.
The next Advisory Board meeting is scheduled to be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, on November 19, 1997.
The first Presidential meeting on race is scheduled to be held on December 3, 1997.