Sunday, October 27, 2013

VI Congressional Leader Fights for Black Boys in Education - Higher Education

VI Congressional Leader Fights for Black Boys in Education - Higher Education:

VI Congressional Leader Fights for Black Boys in Education



Donna Christensen
Congresswoman Donna Christensen addresses a group of scholars at the second annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education held at the University of Virgin Islands in St. Thomas last week. (Photo Credit: Clifford White)
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands — As the lone Democratic congressional leader from the Virgin Islands, Dr. Donna Christensen has had her share of public frustrations.
“Many people think that being Black and being a woman is the biggest obstacle that I face in Congress,” said Christensen, who is a trained medical doctor and has represented the Virgin Islands territory on Capitol Hill since 1996. “But representing the territory has been the biggest problem because many of my colleagues in Congress don’t see the territory as being entitled to the same rights the states are entitled to.”
Christensen is working around the clock to push through an energy bill that would help provide relief to the Islands where energy costs are 500 percent higher than the national average, a financial impediment that is “unsustainable and crippling to the economy and the health and safety of the community.”
But like Washington, D.C.’s Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Christensen is a non-voting member of Congress who is forced to establish strategic alliances with congressional members on both sides of the aisle to help her secure federal funding for the Islands, including money for the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) 

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