President Barack Obama visits North Carolina A&T for the first time
The Undefeated will host Obama for a student forum on the HBCU’s campus
Editor-In-Chief of The Undefeated Kevin Merida looks ahead to the conversation with President Obama on sports, race and achievement and how this town hall came together.
The student forum will take place in the North Carolina A&T State University Alumni Foundation Event Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, three weeks after the death of Keith Lamont Scott — a 43-year-old man whose death became one of the latest high-profile police shootings — and one week after two N.C. A&T students were tragically killed in a shooting at an off-campus house party.
The discussion, a 60-minute production that will be taped in front of a live audience composed of N.C. A&T students and invited guests, will be the president’s first visit to the university’s campus. First lady Michelle Obama was the university’s commencement speaker in 2012.
In three segments, Obama will discuss leadership, particularly through the lens of My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative established in 2014 to address and find solutions to the problems that often keep boys and young men of color from reaching their full potential. The president will also address race, its hardships and failures — including job discrimination experienced by black college graduates — but also the successes that many will achieve during their lifetime, the legacy and importance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in society, and athletes and activism — a movement that has attracted both vast support and staunch opposition from fans, coaches and fellow athletes. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask the president questions at the conclusion of each segment.
This is the second town hall meeting in which Obama has joined an audience to speak about problems such as gun violence, education, policing and the adverse effects these problems cause within troubled communities, particularly on millennials.
Since Obama’s first town hall meeting in July, there have been at least five other high-profile police-related shootings that have attracted national attention and prompted civil unrest in various states. The increased visibility of police brutality has also seen a rise in student protests on college campuses across the nation and athletes using their platforms to speak out against social injustices.
The Undefeated’s Kevin Merida said he looks forward to not only a productive conversation, but to visiting North Carolina A&T, the No. 1 ranked public HBCU in the nation.
“We are honored to host this town hall featuring the president at one of the leading historically black universities in the country,” Merida said. “We expect a vibrant conversation about the present and the future, and about the challenges facing black students.”