The GOP Goes To College: Republicans Plan Member Outreach At HBCUs

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It appears that the Republican Party is leaving no stone unturned in its latest efforts to reach out to the African-American community. The GOP, which already went on a listening tour, is even dong outreach to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

After again being defeated by President Barack Obama who had the overwhelming support of minority voters, Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, commissioned a report to outline a new strategy for the party, reports Diverse Education magazine. The 97-page Growth and Opportunity Project report was unveiled last month and among its suggestions was  to  find new ways to reach the black community. And recommended seeking out HBCUs, which said the report are institutions at which Republicans can engage African-Americans “with the goal of educating the community on Republican ideals and the party’s history.”

“HBCUs are part of the African-American community. We want to be engaged in all parts of the African-American community. So it’s important for us to do outreach to HBCUs,” Raffi Williams, the RNC deputy press secretary and the outreach coordinator to African Americans, told the magazine. “We’re still in the planning process, obviously, figuring out what the best strategy is moving forward.”

He added,  “We want to be involved with conservatives all across the country. Specifically if it helps us doing outreach to HBCUs, [those campus groups] will be very important for us and something that we hope to utilize.”

Dr. Robert Ford, a professor of chemistry at Texas Southern University (TSU) and an adviser to the Young Conservatives organization at the Houston-based historically black university, told the publication that the effort could increase GOP black votes in the next presidential election. According to Ford, the Republican Party initiative could help stimulate interest in helping reinvigorate the TSU group, which currently has just 15 members.

“I think there’s a newfound recognition that young people vote and that young people can be effective messengers in their communities that has brought more attention to HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions in getting out its new message of inclusiveness,” Ford said to Diverse Education.

With members of the right wing making comments like this about new MSNBC host Karen Finney, the GOP’s outreach efforts are being undermined by its own people.

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