October 21, 2016
Today, President Barack Obama is a proclamation entitled National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2016.
NATIONAL HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WEEK, 2016
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCUs) are living monuments to the cause that has driven
each generation of our citizens in the task of perfecting our
Union — helping ensure that all people can experience the
fullest measure of equality, justice, and possibility.
Embodying the notion that the ability to pursue a higher
education should be an opportunity available to all, rather
than a privilege for a few, these campuses were built from a
determination to widely and profoundly expand the reach of
our country’s promise. During National Historically Black
Colleges and Universities Week, we celebrate this aspiration
and reaffirm our support for HBCUs.
Rendered possible by the extraordinary sacrifices and
commitment of women and men who resolved to make real and
enduring the new birth of freedom that echoed across our
country following the end of the Civil War, the rise of these
proud institutions marked the beginning of a new chapter in our
national narrative. With each generation, HBCUs have shaped
America for the better in indelible ways. From a pastor who
would give voice to equality’s cause to the great-grandson of
a slave who would reach the bench of our highest court; from
pioneers of medical and scientific breakthroughs to creators of
innovative and prosperous businesses; from artists who expand
the boundaries of expression to historians who illuminate our
past and help us write our future, so much of the progress that
has come to define America has been carried forward by
graduates, academics, and leaders of these colleges and
Since I took office, my Administration has focused on
expanding opportunity and opening doors of higher education
for more people. We have increased Pell Grants, expanded
student loan assistance going directly to students, cut taxes for
those paying tuition, allowed students to cap their Federal loan
payments at 10 percent of their income, and created the
College Scorecard to assist prospective students in
understanding their options for pursuing a higher education.
Today, more Americans are earning a degree in post-secondary
education than ever before, and HBCUs are playing an
important role. In the 6 years since I signed an Executive Order
bolstering the White House Initiative on HBCUs, we have
helped ensure that more students have greater opportunities
and that these institutions can benefit from a fuller range of
Federal programs and assistance. HBCUs and community
colleges help build our Nation’s economy and strengthen the
middle class, which is why I am working to make 2 years of
community college free for hardworking students across our
country through America’s College Promise — a proposal that
also helps 4-year HBCUs provide more low-income students
with up to 2 years of college for free or at reduced tuition.
This week, we recognize the ways in which HBCUs are central
to our experience as a Nation and recommit ourselves to the
work that lies ahead. Let us honor the spirit in which these
institutions were constructed by reaffirming the enduring
truths at their core, and let us continue endeavoring to ensure
all people have the chance to access higher education and
secure ever greater opportunity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in
me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do
hereby proclaim October 23 through October 29, 2016, as
National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I
call upon educators, public officials, professional organizations,
corporations, and all Americans to observe this week with
appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that
acknowledge the countless contributions these institutions
and their alumni have made to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord
two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
On Saturday, October 22, Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Fayetteville and Jacksonville, North Carolina, to participate in campaign events with the Honorable Anne Holton, wife of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and former Virginia Secretary of Education. For additional details, please contact Hillary for America.
On Sunday, October 23, Dr. Jill Biden travels to Pennsylvania to participate in campaign events in the Philadelphia area with the Honorable Anne Holton, wife of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and former Virginia Secretary of Education. For additional details, please contact Hillary for America.
On Tuesday, October 25, Dr. Biden will host a Breast Cancer Awareness Month reception at the Vice President’s Residence.
On Wednesday, October 26, Dr. Biden, a full time community college professor and Honorary Chair of the College Promise Advisory Board, will host community college leaders from all across the country at the Vice President’s Residence to thank them for their efforts and steadfast support to make two years of community college free for responsible students.
WASHINGTON DC – On Sunday, October 23, 016, President Barack Obama travels to Las Vegas, Nevada from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The President will arrive at McCarran International Airport.
While in Las Vegas, President Obama will deliver remarks at an event for Hillary Clinton and Catherine Cortez-Masto at Cheyenne High School.
Afterward, President Obama will travel to San Diego, California from McCarran International Airport and arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
While in San Diego, President Obama will deliver remarks and answer questions at a DCCC event at a private residence.
President Obama will remain overnight in the San Diego area Monday night.
On Monday, October 24, 2016 President Obama will travel to Los Angeles, California where he will participate in a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and a DNC and Hillary Victory Fund roundtable. President Obama will remain in Los Angeles overnight. On Tuesday, October 25, 2016 President Obama will participate in a DSCC roundtable.
President Barack Obama
Moments On Camera
Health Care Reform
President Obama Speaks on the Affordable Care Act
October 22, 2016
NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the OPCW-UN Report on Syria
WASHINGTON DC – “The United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have announced the latest results of a year-long expert, independent, and neutral investigation into multiple allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria. The report supplements the August 24, 2016, OPCW-United Nations report, which determined that the Syrian regime used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people in 2014 and 2015. This new report sheds light on a third incident where chlorine was used, and in all three cases provides details about which regime elements are responsible. The report also calls for accountability for those involved in conducting these attacks.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Asad regime’s defiance of the longstanding global norm against chemical weapons use and Syria’s abrogation of its responsibilities under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it joined in 2013. The Syrian regime has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118 by using industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people.”
“The United States continues to work with our international partners to enforce accountability through appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, including through the United Nations Security Council and the OPCW. We strongly urge all UN member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russia and Iran, which continue to conduct military operations on behalf of the Asad regime, to unequivocally support these efforts and sustain our shared commitment to the international standard against chemical weapons use.”
“Russian military and economic support to Syria enables the Asad regime to continue its military campaign against its own people, which it has done in violation of international law as demonstrated by the findings of this report. Together, we must send a strong signal that the use of weapons of mass destruction will not be tolerated by the international community.”
THE FIRST LADY
AT THE LOVE AND HAPPINESS CONCERT: STUDENT WORKSHOP
State Dining Room
1:10 P.M. EDT
What’s going on? I’ve got big old teleprompters right here but I’m not going to be bothered with that. (Laughter.) So whoever is operating the teleprompters, just let’s forget it. (Laughter.)
This is our last workshop, because tonight we are working with BET to host our last, really, music event. And it’s going to be a good one. Because we usually highlight a particular singer or a particular genre of music, but tonight it’s going to be a little of everything — a little gospel, a little soul, a little — who knows who’s going to be on the menu. (Laughter.)
So I am looking forward to it, but it means it’s also the last time we’re going to gather young people like you guys from all over the country to get a chance to see how you go from those seats to these seats up here. And this is really the best part of these days when we have the music here, is working with young people like all of you.
And I want to take the time, again, to acknowledge and thank Bob Santelli from the Grammy Museum, who helps to make these activities possible. Bob, thank you so much. (Applause.)
So look who we have here with us! We have Michelle Williams. (Applause.) I don’t even have to introduce these folks. Michelle Williams! (Applause.) And we have Yolanda Adams. Oh, my gosh! (Applause.)
Now, these are award-winning artists who have done a number of things — and the other thing, these are real — these are “sangers.” (Laughter.) They “sang.” You know, there are people out there — you know — they “sing.” But these women, they “sing.” (Laughter.) You do. (Laughter.)
WILLIAMS: So do you!
Well, no, I do many things, Michelle, but I do not sing. I don’t sing. (Laughter.)
And I’m so excited that they’re here because you know them as the stars that they are, but they’re just like me, they’re just like you. Michelle grew up in Rockford, Illinois. I never realized you were that close to me. (Laughter.) We are Illinois girls. And through her life, she’s had to deal with some tough stuff. She’s had to deal with bullying in high school. She’s had to overcome challenges.
I don’t know if you know about Yolanda — and hopefully you guys will share these stories in more detail — but Yolanda, before she was a singer, I understand you used to — you held down a job as a teacher —
ADAMS: Yes, I did.
— and helped your mother take care of your younger siblings before you got into the business.
So, look, the point is that we all have some interesting challenges and obstacles that we face to get where we are today. But the difference between us and them, between you and success is not that you never fail, but it’s how you recover from those failures — is that you keep getting up time and time again. You figure out what you did wrong, and then you make it right. I say that to my kids every day.
And that’s really the point of these things. We want you to touch these stars and hear their stories, and understand that we all make mistakes, we all struggle, but perseverance is the key to anything you want to be in life. Whether you want to go into music, whether you want to be a lawyer, whether you want to be President of the United States, the bottom line for all of you is that you have got to get your education.
At the foundation of everything we have all done, it’s understanding that education is key. That’s the thing in your life that you have complete control over. You can go to school and focus — not just be there, but actually put effort into it. Go to your classes. Study hard. Do your best. Get your homework done. Go to college.
Because if you do that, then you have all that you need, so that when you hit those bumps and those challenges, you have something concrete to fall back on. That is my wish, hope, instruction for all of you: Take your education seriously, okay? Always do that. Because I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my education.
So with that, I’m going to turn it over to our panel. And I want to encourage you all not to be shy in this space. I know it’s the State Room at the White House, it can be a little intimidating — lots of lights and cameras and all that good stuff — but this space is for you. It’s intended for you to ask questions and raise your hand, and to be funny, and to dig deep, and to take advantage of the fact that you are sitting here in this room. And there are millions of other kids who would just die to be where you are. So do not waste this opportunity, okay? Don’t waste it.
And the other thing is, since you were one of the few chosen for this room, then it’s your responsibility to pull somebody else along. When you leave here, who are you going to share this knowledge with? A younger cousin, a sister or brother, a neighbor? All of us are mentors. You’re mentors right here and now. And one of the things I’ve always done throughout my life, I have always found that person, that group of people that I was going to reach my hand out and help bring them along with me. And you guys are in that position right now.
So think about how you’re going to take this experience and carry it into your communities, into your families. Can you do that for me?
All right. Well, I’m going to leave you to — you all in good hands. And have fun. And thank you for coming to the White House. I love you all. (Applause.)