On Thursday, February 23rd, hand-picked Mass Communications students from various Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country were assembled to participate in an exclusive press briefing which took place at the White House featuring Vice President Kamala Harris and Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senior Advisor for Public Engagement.
This press briefing afforded students the opportunity to address issues of concern to Vice President Harris face-to-face. The questions focused on matters such as overall funding for HBCUs, mental health awareness, and the demand for more representation of black and brown people everywhere.
During the Question-and-Answer session of the event, Alcorn’s D’Marius Jones, a Senior Mass Communications major, asked Senior Advisor Bottoms, “What is being done to protect the developing minds of young people from the systematic algorithms used by large social media platforms?” upon which she replied, “That’s a huge discussion and we all see it” which was followed by further elaboration.
In addition to shedding light on topics of concern that affect the entire nation, the briefing was also set to give students real-world experience to further sharpen their journalistic skills. Following the briefing, students toured the White House and networked with Vice President Harris and their fellow journalism peers.
Vice President Harris congratulated the students and gave them encouraging words by stating, “As journalist see people in their full selves. Journalism is not only a job but a skill that impacts the world through truth and information.”
Nyla Branam, a Senior Mass Communications major at Delaware State University, said, “This experience has shown me why representation is so important, and I can’t wait to take on the world with the amazing gems that I learned here today and share it with the world.”