Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
The U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Civil Rights, Minority Serving Institution Program taps into the talents of students and faculty attending our nation's Minority Serving Institutions with the hopes of fulfilling the Department's mission and objectives. To accomplish this mission, we need the best and brightest individuals to work at and partner with the Department. The Department is proud of the work of our Minority Educational Institution partners as we continue to work and advance our partnerships through in-kind services, volunteerism, diverse hiring, grants and contacts.
Minority Serving Institutions are institutions of higher education that serve minority populations. They are unique both in their missions and in their day-to-day operations. Some of these colleges and universities are located in remote regions of the country, whereas others serve urban neighborhoods. Some minority-serving institutions are only a few decades old, whereas others, particularly the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, have been striving for more than a century to give their constituents the social and educational skills needed to overcome racial discrimination and limited economic opportunities.
Through Presidential Executive Orders and special legislation enacted over the past 20 years, minority-serving institutions have accessed Department funds and leverage other Departmental resources on behalf of their students and communities. These opportunities for minority serving institutions are a direct result of the efforts of our office and our programs.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities include 89 four-year, and 16 two-year, institutions of higher education established prior to 1964, for the primary purpose of educating African-Americans. The majority of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities are located in the Southeastern states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. Historically Black Colleges and Universities comprise three percent of America's institutions of higher education, yet enroll 16 percent of all African-American students in higher education and award 24 percent of all baccalaureate degrees earned by African-Americans nationwide.
Executive Order 13532 – Historically Black Colleges and Universities
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is structured to restore the United States to its role as the global leader in education; strengthen the Nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and help ensure that African Americans receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a satisfying career, and productive citizenship.
The Initiative will complement and reinforce the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative established by Executive Order 13532 of February 26, 2010, and together, they both will support enhanced educational outcomes for African Americans at every level of the American education system, including early childhood education; elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; career and technical education; and adult education.
Executive Order 13621 - White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are accredited, post-secondary higher educational institution with at least 25 percent total full-time enrollment of Hispanic undergraduate student pursuing terminal degrees. HSIs included four-year and two-year, public and private educational institutions. HSIs enroll 40 percent of all Hispanic-American students of higher education. There are 195 institutions of higher education defined as HSIs using the criteria defined by the White House Initiative and the Department of Education.
Executive Order 13555 – Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) were created over the last 32 years, first on a remote reservation community on the Navajo Nation, then throughout the Native Country. The 34 public and private higher educational institutions provide a response to the higher education needs of American Indians, and generally serve geographically-isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important to educational opportunity for Native American students, an importance they have achieved in a relatively brief period of time.
Executive Order 13592 – American Indian and Alaska Native Education
Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions(AAPISIs)
The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S. In fact, projections indicate that by 2050 this population will double in size. As a result, educating all minority students, including AAPIs, will be critical in achieving President Obama's 2020 Goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
Executive Order 13515 – Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
(DOI does not have a partnership agreement with AAPISIs but works directly with the institutions)