President Joe Biden has named two prominent Pennsylvanians to a presidential committee focused on developing educational and career programs for Black Americans – with a Philadelphia state representative chosen to chair the panel.
Biden appointed Democratic state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta as chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans, while also naming Chad Dion Lassiter – the executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission – as a member of the 21-person commission.
In addition to crafting programs, the commission also helps advise the Biden administration on educational equity and economic opportunities for the Black community, according to the White House.
Kenyatta has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2019 and was the first LGBTQ person of color elected to the General Assembly. He also launched a bid for Pennsylvania Auditor General earlier this year. He said Friday that he will remain in his role as state representative while he leads the commission.
“I am truly honored by President Biden’s trust in me to lead this key Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity,” Kenyatta said in a statement.
“I welcome the chance to work with Secretary Cardona and the entire commission of deeply talented public servants to do everything we can to improve educational and economic outcomes for Black Americans across the United States,” he added. “As I take on this new responsibility, I remain committed to fighting every day for the people of the 181st District in the Pennsylvania legislature."
Lassiter, in an email to City & State, said Pennsylvania is “comprised of so much talent” and that he’s excited to be joining Kenyatta on the commission.
“I’m humbled and honored to serve this president and our democracy in this capacity,” he said.