The Obama campaign’s “Greater Together” initiative to reach young voters, on Tuesday the team will hosted a student summit at North Carolina Central University. The event marks the first of more than 28 others that the campaign will hold throughout the next two weeks at historically black colleges and universities, including Morehouse College, Norfolk State University, Bennett College and Florida A&M University. But in addition to the usual suspects, such as Campaign Manager Jim Messina and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, in tow at the Durham HBCU campus was actress Gabrielle Union.
“I stood by [President Obama] in 2008, and that election motivated me in a way that I’d never really been before about being part of the process,” Union stated why she’s lending her voice to his re-election effort. “I take a lot of pride knowing that my president understands that as brothers’ and sisters’ , we have a responsibility to each other. He understands that America prospers when we’re all doing it together, when everyone does their fair share and plays by the same rules.”
For Tuesday’s event, Union planned to talk specifically about the president’s record on education, health care and job creation. Her reminders for black students included the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of health coverage to 2.5 million more young adults, thanks to provisions allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26 and creating special plans for adults with pre-existing conditions. On education, the president more than doubled Pell Grants (which half of HBCU students receive, compared with 27 percent of students at other institutions) and passed a new tax credit for tuition expenses.