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The White House said Friday it would delay an annual conference for historically black colleges and universities that had been scheduled for mid-September.

Congressional Democrats and multiple organizations representing HBCUs have called in recent weeks for the event to be delayed until after the White House names the executive director of its HBCU Initiative. They also called for more action related to Trump's March executive order on historically black colleges, such as "developing a meaningful plan of action with concrete commitments to invest in and advance HBCUs," as the United Negro College Fund said in its letter to the administration.

While the conference is postponed, the White House said it would instead meet with a small number of HBCU leaders and students on strategic issues.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Foundation, praised the decision to postpone the event.

"TMCF will continue our substantive and positive working relationship with the entire Trump administration," he said.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman, director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, had insisted in response to calls for a delay last month that the conference would go ahead as planned. She also promised that the White House would name an executive director for the HBCU Initiative as well as members of a board of advisers.