January 23, 2024
The largest advocacy gathering for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is expected to bring together 400 higher education leaders and supporters to advocate on issues impacting Hispanic-Serving Institutions on April 9-10, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The 29th Annual National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education, a two-day event, will feature policy briefings on HSI priorities and delegations to Capitol Hill to meet face-face with congressional leaders to advocate for HSIs.
New to the Capitol Forum is "The HSInnovators," a pre-conference student track that will provide firsthand advocacy experience, the opportunity to participate in an advocacy pitch competition, and opportunities to meet elected officials.
“HACU is delighted to feature the “HSInnovators” for the next generation of advocates from our institutions nationwide,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Civic engagement is paramount, and this student program is focused on empowering students to get involved by participating in advocacy for Hispanic-Serving Institutions and participating in their state delegations to Capitol Hill.”
In past years, HACU advocacy efforts have had impactful results. The 2023 Capitol Hill delegations resulted in 150 congressional visits from higher ed leaders and students advocating for greater federal investment. Flores says the voice of HSIs is greatly needed to send a stronger message of support.
“With this being a presidential election year, now is the time for our Hispanic-Serving Institutions to deepen their engagement with Congress, especially as we approach the November 2024 elections. There are currently 572 Hispanics-Serving Institutions and federal funding has not kept up to par for these institutions and the 5.5 million students they educate and serve,” added Flores.
The 2024 Capitol Forum promises to deliver another exceptional program covering the most critical legislative and funding priorities for HSIs – from support for student veterans to addressing the shortage of healthcare workers in the U.S. The pre-Forum agenda will include agency representatives offering insight into federal funding opportunities for higher education institutions.
(Top photo, L-R) Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra address participants of the 2023 Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education. (L-R) Secretary Raimondo, HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores and Secretary Cardona speak at a fireside chat at the 2023 Capitol Forum.
“We are working on an exciting speaker line up for this year’s event. Last year’s event included distinguished speakers from the Biden-Harris Cabinet Administration, including – Sec. Becerra, Sec. Buttigieg, Sec. Cardona, and Sec. Raimondo,” said Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations Lena Rodriguez. “We were also honored to have a message from Vice President Harris, and various congressional leaders address our participants.”
Higher education leaders and their students have until Feb. 9, 2024, to take advantage of Early Bird rates. Online regular registration and onsite registration will be available thereafter. The Hilton Washington D.C. Capitol Hill is the host hotel for HACU's 29th Annual Capitol Forum