UNCF expresses condolences for former Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of former Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Her unwavering dedication to public service and tireless advocacy for our mission at UNCF will be greatly missed.
“Congresswoman Johnson, like the Congressional Black Caucus to which she belonged, has been a stalwart for HBCUs and low-income students everywhere,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Without her support for our causes, I do not want to imagine where our institutions and students most in need would be.”
Congresswoman Johnson was a true champion for education, equality and social justice. For three decades, she fought tirelessly to ensure that every student, regardless of their background, had access to quality education and the opportunities they deserved.
Her commitment to empowering underrepresented communities was evident in her work as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Through her leadership, she provided a voice for marginalized communities and worked towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
She became the first Black woman to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where she spearheaded major legislation for Black and other students of color, who pursued educations and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Johnson was in support of the passage of the FUTURE Act, providing permanent federal funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions and providing significant STEM-focused funding for those schools.
On the passage of the FUTURE Act, Johnson said, “I have spent my entire political career working to broaden access to careers in STEM. HBCUs have long played a vital role in educating minority students in STEM. Many of my own family members attended HBCUs in Texas.”
Johnson sponsored the STEM Opportunities Act and the MSI STEM Achievement Act, both of which passed the House. “I commend Robert Smith, the Fund II Foundation, the National Math and Science Initiative, and UNCF for working to increase the number of minority STEM teachers through their STEM teacher diversity initiative. Minority STEM teachers are critically important for developing a diverse and innovative STEM workforce, and we must do more to ensure they have the support they need,” said Johnson.
Chairman Johnson’s leadership and contribution as a fearless trailblazer and gifted legislator helped pave the way for underrepresented students to achieve their dreams of a college degree and careers in technology-related fields.
UNCF extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Chairman Eddie Bernice Johnson. May her legacy continue to inspire us all to work towards a better future.