The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation has raised $100,000 in scholarship money for 2013.
The group announced the fundraising effort at its annual Education Scholarship Weekend held recently at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham.
"As a proud graduate of Fayetteville State University, I have witnessed the benefits of attending a Historically Black College, said state Rep. Garland Pierce of Wagram, who serves as president of the caucus.
Pierce said that the weekend is an opportunity to address topics that impact the citizens of North Carolina and students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities in North Carolina. The weekend included briefing sessions and their signature fund raising event, The William L. Wainwright Scholarship Banquet.
"I want to continue to do my part in supporting NC HBCU's and making them available for generations to come," Pierce said.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California headlined the event.
Waters said conservatives are making it difficult for students in North Carolina and across the country by proposing severe cuts to early childhood education, government programs, health care and unemployment benefits.
"As a member of the U.S. Congress, I very well understand what is happening here in the state, because Democrats in the House of Representatives are confronted with the same kind of ultraconservative, tea party-led Republicans who are tempting to use majority and dismantle government as we know it."
Waters said that North Carolina has the highest total federal student loan debt among HBCUs in the country. Interest rates will double July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
"Now is absolutely the wrong time to make college education even more expensive," Waters said. "Your scholarships are so needed."
A 12-term representative, Waters is the ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services.
"[Waters] is one of the most powerful female voices in the political world," said Rep. Alma Adams, chairwoman of the NCLBCF. "Her advocacy for women and children, the underprivileged and people of color makes her the ideal guest speaker for the foundation's event."
The two-day event began with a networking luncheon featuring Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, a pastor who blends sociological issues into his theological messages.
"We must work together to make sure a college education is possible for all students. Everyone benefits from this important investment in education," Adams said.