President Joe Biden appointed acclaimed actress Taraji P. Henson and NBA star Chris Paul to the White House Advisory Board for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on Thursday (March 31).
Henson and Paul are among the eighteen leaders in education, business, entertainment, and sports that were chosen to serve on the HBCU advisory board, which was created to aid HBCUs in their efforts to provide high-quality education and opportunities for Black students.
The White House said the board is made of "qualified and diverse leaders" that "will allow the administration to build on that financial commitment with continued institutional support."
President Biden's initiative to better support HBCUs was one of his many campaign promises to the Black community.
Henson, a Howard University alumna, has provided scholarships to Black college students majoring in mental health through her foundation since 2018. The Boris Lawrence Henson foundation also offers mental health services to youth and aims to lower recidivism patterns in the Black community.
For the past eight years, Paul served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association. The twelve-time NBA All-star has actively championed girls’ and women’s basketball and was the recipient of the 2022 Kobe and Gigi Bryant Advocacy Award for his work.
Additional appointees selected by President Biden include five presidents of HBCUs, United Airlines president Brett Hart, and CEO of the National Society of Black Engineers Janeen Uzzell, CNN reports.
President Biden’s board announcement comes after the White House provided $2.7 billion to HBCUs this year.