2022 Charter Day Convocation Orator: Congressman Gregory W. Meeks

WASHINGTON – Howard University is pleased to welcome alumnus Congressman Gregory W. Meeks as the orator for the 2022 Charter Day Convocation on Friday, March 4 at 11 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium. Charter Day Convocation is open to the public.

Each year, the Charter Day Convocation ceremony commemorates the signing of Howard’s federal charter on March 2, 1867, establishing Howard as a university. Meeks is focused on revitalizing the economy, creating jobs and enhancing the resiliency of New York’s 5th District’s transportation, housing and environmental infrastructure, which were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

Throughout his tenure in Congress, Meeks has fought to make New York City accessible and full of opportunity for all New Yorkers. One result of Meeks’ tireless efforts came to fruition in April of 2017, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the “Crossing at Jamaica Station.” The housing and retail project, which will bring approximately 4,000 construction jobs to Jamaica, N.Y., includes hundreds of new affordable residential units. To make this crucial economic development possible, Meeks secured $21 million in federal tax credits.

Meeks, now in his 13th term, has devoted his energy and skill to serving one of the most diverse constituencies in the nation. His efforts on behalf of his district, New York City and New York state, and the nation as a whole have earned Meeks the respect of his constituents, New Yorkers, and Democrats and Republicans alike. He is known for being an effective, principled and common-sense leader. As a fervent supporter of the Affordable Care Act enacted under President Obama, Meeks believes that it should be enhanced. Meeks is also part of the forward-thinking, pro-growth Democratic members who comprise the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), the largest ideological caucus in Congress.

Additionally, Congressman Meeks is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the first black Member of Congress to serve as chair of that committee. Meeks is a multilateralist with decades of experience in foreign policy. He believes that the United States should build coalitions around our interests and work with other countries to build a stable and prosperous future.

Key provisions in the Wall Street reform law – including its stress testing requirement, the creation of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the financial regulatory agencies, and the requirement that U.S. public companies who use natural resources to report their due diligence in stamping out conflict minerals – were co-authored by Meeks and remain in the law today. Meeks introduced a bill that would require government contractors and public companies to submit data on the racial, ethnic and gender composition of their corporate boards.

Meeks is a member of the Allen AME Church in St. Albans, New York and a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. As a huge sports fan, Meeks enjoys watching the New York Knicks, the New York Giants and the New York Mets. He is married to Simone-Marie Meeks and has three daughters – Ebony, Aja and Nia-Aiyana.

The March 4 convocation sets the stage for this year’s Charter Day Virtual Celebration. Traditionally a black-tie gala, the virtual celebration will be a fundraising event with the proceeds supporting financial aid for Howard students.

In compliance with the District of Columbia’s Vaccination DC policy, all guests ages 12 years and older are required to show proof of vaccination to enter Cramton Auditorium.

For Cramton Auditorium COVID-19 protocol and livestream information, go to www.howard.edu/charterday.