Leaders of historically black colleges and universities rallied together on Capitol Hill Thursday for a National Day of Action in an effort to secure more funding for HBCUs.
The HBCU Day of Action was founded by HBCU Collective, an organization that works with state and federal lawmakers to preserve and grow historically black colleges and universities.
“None of us are here today to ask for pity,” one leader said at the podium. “We are here to talk about partnerships.”
In a meeting with more than 60 leaders of these universities in March, President Trump promised to allocate more funds to the schools but the White House budget would ax federal education spending by $9 billion, NPR reports.
During Thursday’s rally, HBCU leaders met with members of Congress to lobby for year-round Pell grants and money for the schools’ infrastructure.
Speakers requested that the colleges get the financial support they deserve.
“It’s passed time for HBCUs to only get crumbs, it is time for us to get the full loaves of bread,” said another leader.
Trump's March meeting with HBCU leaders triggered backlash from students who felt the Trump administration was using it as a photo op.
Graffiti appeared on the campus of Howard University just hours after the meeting. Someone wrote “Welcome to Trump’s Plantation” on campus grounds.
Betsy DeVos made her first visit at school as education secretary at Howard University in February. This meeting also sparked a negative reaction from students who said they were skeptical about the Trump administration’s motives.