Hundreds of students and community members filled the B.N. Duke Auditorium on the campus of North Carolina Central University for The National HBCU Obama Student Summit Tuesday evening. The summit was part of the campaign’s efforts to reach Historically Black College and University campuses across the country. The event was hosted by actress Gabrielle Union. Those in attendance included Valerie Jarrett, Senior Democratic Strategist; Jim Messina, Campaign Manager of Obama for America; Greg Jackson, Field Director of Organizing for America; Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Congressman David Price.
The summit began with SGA President Reginald McCrimmon’s introduction of Gabrielle Union. “We have a president who knows what its like to be a working student.” Union expressed. She explained the value of having a president who has the same value system as [the students].
Congressman GK Butterfield, an alumni of NCCU, praised President Obama’s campaign for choosing NCCU as a location for the summit. He credited the amount of college students who were able to register to vote during the 2008 elections with helping North Carolina turn into a Democratic state. His message to the students was to get organized, register unregistered individuals and “get ready for the fight.”
NCCU students Bryan Kennedy, Brianna Hargrove and Taylor-Grace Whitfield shared their stories concerning the current condition of employment, education and healthcare. Other topics addressed included grassroots campaigning, voter registration and student-aid. Throughout the evening the panelists highlighted President Obama’s accomplishments during his term, and explained what President Obama is currently doing to address the needs of the people.
The event was sponsored by the North Carolina Central University Student Government Association and Young Americans for Obama.