Statement of Raymond C. Pierce, President and CEO, Southern Education Foundation, on the 2022 State of the Union Address

MEDIA CONTACT:  Gretchen Wright,, (202) 421-5830

March 2, 2022 (Atlanta, Georgia) —The Southern Education Foundation released the following statement from its President and CEO in response to President Joe Biden’s second State of the Union address:

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Biden urged greater investment in two key areas that are central to achieving education equity and opportunity in the United States: Pre-kindergarten and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Last night, the President repeated his earlier calls for expanding pre-kindergarten education. There is an overwhelming body of research demonstrating that early learning, including pre-kindergarten, is foundational to an individual’s academic achievement and overall success. It is a crucial component in ensuring education equity and opportunity for all children.

Similarly, the President’s call for greater investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities is testament to his understanding of the important role these institutions play in developing and promoting leaders of color and addressing the systemic inequities in our nation. They are an effective and critical means for education, elevation, and equity. The Southern Education Foundation stands with the President and many others in believing that HBCUs must continue to be included in any formula to advance equity and prepare the next generation of leaders.

The Southern Education Foundation strongly supports President Biden’s ongoing and demonstrated commitment to opportunity for all in our nation and urges Congress to act quickly to invest in these key pillars of education.


Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation also has a long history of developing leaders in education and was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at