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White House 'will modify' conference for historically black colleges

The White House announced Friday evening that it is adjusting plans for HBCU Week, an annual conference for historically black colleges and universities. This comes after uproar among some HBCU leaders and members of Congress over President Trump's responses to the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.

"Responding to suggestions and feedback from many key stakeholders, the White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will modify its planned conference to best meet the current needs of HBCUs, their students and the broader HBCU community," said a White House statement, describing the revised program as "more intimate" and "strategic."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in August there was "a pretty lengthy waiting list" of HBCU leaders who wanted to attend the event. The Trump administration so far has had a difficult relationship with HBCUs; in February, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came under fire for praising the institutions as "real pioneers" of school choice, and in May, Trump publicly mulled cutting a federal financial assistance program for HBCUs.