The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) recently hosted two webinars featuring leaders in the U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The role of higher education anchors in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs

CUMU welcomed Kylie Patterson, professional staff member, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. Patterson brings expertise from her former role as the CUMU and Anchor Learning Network designee for Johns Hopkins University where she served as the director of economic inclusion. Her work has been featured in The Baltimore Sun, CNN, The Huffington Post, and Blavity.

The following topics were covered during the webinar:

  • Legislative overview of SBA priorities as we recover from the pandemic
  • Racial equity initiatives of the committee: discussion of what does an equitable recovery look like and identifying key  action steps that must occur
  • The role must higher education, philanthropic and other anchor institutors should play going forward in supporting and advocating for small businesses
  • Opportunities that exist within the SBA for higher education anchors to utilize to best accomplish local/small business procurement goals

Aligning the urban mission of higher education institutions with HUD priorities in the Biden Administration: Building strategic partnerships amidst change

In August, CUMU welcomed Michele Perez, assistant deputy secretary for field policy management, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a session on building strategic partnerships amidst change.

Perez oversees the department’s regional and field offices as they deliver on HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Perez has over 25 years of experience in service-driven agencies and was appointed to her current role in February 2021 under the Biden-Harris Administration.

The following topics were discussed during the webinar:

  • Overview of HUD’s organizational structure both on a large scale and within Field Policy Management
  • How customers view and interact with HUD
  • Priorities under the Biden-Harris administration
  • Past collaborative examples between HUD and colleges and universities
  • Strategies for further collaboration and opportunities for grant funding from HUD