Office of Rep. Marilyn Strickland announcement.
Today (June 21, 2023), Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), and Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02) introduced bicameral legislation, The 1890s Advancing and Building Leadership and Excellence Opportunity Act of 2023, known as the ENABLE Opportunity Act of 2023.
“In order to increase Black representation in the STEM and agriculture industries, we must invest in Black students and develop successful career pipelines at the university level,” said Rep Strickland. “As a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, I’m proud to lead the Centers of Excellence bill that will support equitable opportunities for HBCU students in industries where they are historically underrepresented.”
“Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions have fostered generations of African American students, farmers, and scientists in our communities for years,” said Senator Brown. “By expanding the number of Centers of Excellence, we will ensure institutions like Central State University can continue training the next generation of agricultural leaders.”
“Georgia is better off when more students from all backgrounds are getting the skills and training they need to bolster our agriculture industry and rural economies,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that will boost the transformative work that is already underway at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions to train the heads and hands of our future agriculture leaders.”
“The 1890 Land-Grant HBCUs contribute billions of dollars to their local economies and serve as gateways to opportunity for tens of thousands of students every year. As a proud alumna of NC A&T State University, which hosts the 1890 Center of Excellence for Student Success and Workforce Development, I know how transformative these institutions are,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “Already, the Center of Excellence at NC A&T has assisted over 2,200 students. The 1890s Advancing and Building Leadership and Excellence Opportunity Act of 2023 would expand on the proven success of the Centers of Excellence, create even more opportunities for students, and further prepare our workforce for the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. I am proud to continue to partner with Senator Brown to create new jobs and opportunities for HBCU students.”
“Our 1890 land-grant institutions, like Fort Valley State University, help ensure that U.S. agriculture remains on the cutting edge, developing and utilizing the talents of a culturally diverse STEM workforce. The Centers of Excellence they host will resource capacity building for them to help assure that America continues to produce the highest quality, safest, most abundant, and most economical food, fiber, and fuel in the world with their valuable input and work product,” said Rep. Bishop. “I am proud to join my colleagues in support of this legislation.”
This funding authorizes $250 million over five years to establish four newCenters of Excellence at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions – also known as Historically Black Universities (HBCUs) – and advance six existing Centers. The Centers will focus on climate change, forestry reliance and conservation, food safety, bioprocessing, value-added agriculture, and transdisciplinary social science.
Centers of Excellence help:
- Increase profitability and rural prosperity in underserved farming communities.
- Address critical needs for enhanced international training and development.
- Increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline.