By Glenda Baskin Glover (President, Tennessee State University)
This article summarizes why African Americans should be eager to vote this year, and why historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), students, and the Black community as a whole should vote for Hillary Clinton for President. Additionally, parents should urge young millennials to support Hillary as well.
Voting affects every aspect of our American lives. It is the cornerstone of our democracy as well as a constitutional right that we must responsibly exercise as American citizens. As an outspoken college president regarding civil rights, I can easily articulate that the most critical challenges facing African Americans today center around educational issues, economic inequality, and growing injustices. Voting is the first step and a necessary condition to fashioning solutions to many of these challenges.
The right to vote is a matter of dignity and democracy. Sometimes it is important to remind each other of the significant bloody and deadly battles that were fought for such a fundamental right that should have been enforced from the inception of our democracy. In fact, we honor the legacy of those who made sacrifices by exercising this decisive right.
This brings us to the critical choice between the candidates for this all-important election on November 8 that many are characterizing as one of the most crucial elections in the last sixty years. In analyzing the candidates, their platforms, experiences and qualifications, Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for this nation for the following reasons:
• Her commitment to HBCUs is far reaching. Her New College Compact pledges $25 billion to HBCUs and minority serving institutions, thereby strengthening opportunities for African Americans and other minorities to attend college. It provides that families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities, and that community colleges are tuition free for all working families. Also, it makes debt-free college available to everyone and addresses student loan debt.
• Her pledge to protect Pell grant funding for minority students and reinstate summer Pell grants, thereby making this funding available year round.
• Her history of supporting concerns that affect African Americans including improved education, unemployment, civil rights, the current criminal justice system, racial injustices and other disparities in the Black community.
• Her experience with health care initiatives which will ensure that affordable health care is available for families. This is especially important since there are enormous health disparities that affect African Americans and other minorities.
• Her platform advances an economy that works for everyone, and presents an investment in the nation’s infrastructure, thereby providing a comprehensive new jobs program.
• Her proven record of promoting and advancing women; and she will continue to tear down barriers, especially as it relates to African American women.
• Finally, and most of all, her unparalleled credentials and experience in government, public service, law, and international affairs.
These are only a few of the reasons that define the choice for Hillary Clinton, and explain why I’m with her and you should be too! Hillary Clinton will build upon President Barack Obama’s legacy and chart her own path toward issues that are important to us.
Your vote counts! Your vote matters! We have a responsibility as well as a duty to vote. In this critical election, we must vote to effect change.
No vote, no voice, no victory!
Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover is the eighth president and first female president of Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. An alumnae of TSU, President Glover, is one of a few women to hold the PhD-CPA-JD combination in our nation. She is a lifetime educator and a longtime advocate of civil rights and social issues impacting the African American community. President Glover serves several corporate boards, and is regarded as an expert in the area of governance and economic empowerment.