Watch and listen to WURD’s historic live broadcast from the White House

todayFebruary 29, 2024

share close

Election year is here. The #WURDonDemocracy event launched Monday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House complex to present a full day’s worth of interviews directly from federal officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris.

WURD’s special coverage addressed concerns voters want to know, spanning critical topics and departments such as agriculture, affirmative action, healthcare, food insecurity and more with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council Sean Savett.

Other officials interviewed included Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Senior Adviser Tom Perez, and top-level executives from the departments of labor, health and human services, energy, the interior. Members of the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Council on Environmental Quality and other agencies spanning the executive branch of the United States government. In total, 21 members of the Biden-Harris administration sat down with WURD hosts for probing interviews. 

This special broadcast was sponsored by the Tucker Law Group and Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University.

Watch the full #WURDonDemocracy YouTube playlist here

Vice President Harris on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act 

The day was capped by Wake Up With WURD host Solomon Jones’s interview with Harris, which focused in part on policing, incarceration and reentry issues that disproportionately impact Black Americans. 

Harris also weighed in on the enduring effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action and its implications for HBCUs.

“We know that our HBCUs…do not have the kind of endowments that other schools have, but need the resources to be able to fulfill their role and their mission,” Harris said. “Our administration so far has put $7 billion into our HBCUs, and that has been a very intentional understanding.”

A probing exchange about Gaza

Jones also spoke to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about conflicts that many WURD listeners have expressed about their taxpayer money going to Israel, the war between Israel and Hamas, the bombardment of Gaza, and a potential cease fire. 

Pierre also spoke about bipartisan compliance on “comprehensive immigration system” issues and the effect of the American Rescue Plan on small businesses, particularly Black-owned businesses. 

“There’s a Black, small-business boom because of that American Rescue Plan,” Jean-Pierre said.

Equal opportunity in infrastructure

“We build, we run, and we protect.” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said about the department. Secretary Buttigieg joined WURD’s Groundings with Brother Shomari and discussed the transportation department’s efforts on the federal level throughout the country, and how better transportation infrastructure and accessibility will have a positive effect on the economy.

“Transportation is an unsung area of economic possibility and growth.” Buttigieg said. “We’re being very intentional about making sure DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise), Black-owned businesses, get a chance at some of these business opportunities. Safety, equity, climate, jobs, and innovation are our priorities.”

The link between racism and domestic terrorism

Brother Shomari spoke to Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council Sean Savett on the pressing topics of domestic terrorism and the administration’s strategies to address anti-Black sentiments across the nation.

“The president asked to look into it, to assemble a team to make sure that we were offering resources to HBCUs to ensure that they knew how to report these threats,” Savett said, adding that HBCUs were connected to law enforcement agencies at the highest levels.

Brother Shomari concluded the interview with Savett by focusing on what the administration is doing to ensure that pride in Black identity is not perceived violently. Savett said that they focus mostly on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE) targets, suspects who are “driven by racial animus.” 

Jobs, threats, and national cybersecurity

National Cyber Director Harry Coker spoke to Reality Check’s Tonya Pendleton about diverse, lucrative cyber security or cyber-adjacent jobs that can help address the “unacceptable risk” to the country’s cyber infrastructure. He said that the national cyber team fosters collaborations between the public and private sectors to create cyber jobs as well as a diverse pool of candidates for these opportunities.

Director Coker concludes his interview emphasizing that the strategies enacted to shift “the responsibility of defending those who are less capable to those who are most capable.” 

 #WURDonDemocracy will progress through the year to get all the answers WURD listeners want to know. Tune in on 900AM and 96.1FM or online at

Listen to the full list of interviews on SoundCloud:


Black Talk Media sent straight to your inbox.


The forWURD Movement is your way to
protect and preserve Independent Black Media.

Written by: Kiara Santos

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Skip to content