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Black students to 2020 Dems: We want to see policies, not pandering


USA TODAY talks with at Morgan State and Howard University about the 2020 , before Democratic candidates forum at Texas Southern. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Jada Grant hasn’t decided who will get her first-ever vote for president next year.

The freshman at Morgan State University wants candidates to talk about how they would create more jobs in cities like Baltimore, ensure that former inmates can vote and help students like her finish college without a mountain of debt.

“I’ve seen the rhetoric, but I haven’t seen the policies,” the 18-year-old computer science major said one recent afternoon.

Grant is part of a bloc of potential voters that Democratic presidential candidates hope to win over at a forum being held at Texas Southern University, one of more than 100 historically black colleges and universities around the country. She the People, a national network of advocacy groups led by women of color, is hosting the forum Wednesday in Houston that will feature eight of the 2020 Democratic candidates.

It will be the first of its kind to focus on issues important to women of color. And the forum’s venue puts the spotlight on young voters of color at HBCUs, which have a long history of facilitating and supporting political organizing. Some Democratic candidates already have come courting at HBCUs like Jackson State University in Mississippi and Howard University in Washington, D.C. 

The forum, which begins at 2 p.m. EDT, will include separate question and answer sessions with Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

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