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Rice: Not enough blacks at State Department

  • Story Highlights
  • Condoleezza Rice says workday often minus "somebody who looks like me"
  • That's "not acceptable" she said in speech at black colleges conference
  • In 2007, such colleges got $5 million in scholarships, grants from State Department
  • National Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference held Monday
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday there are too few black Americans in the State Department.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is greeted Monday by Stillman College President Ernest McNealey.

"I have lamented that I can go into a meeting at the Department of State -- and as a matter fact I can go into a whole day of meetings at the Department of State -- and actually rarely see somebody who looks like me. And that is just not acceptable," Rice said.

She was delivering the keynote speech at the annual Conference of the White House Initiative on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"Like so many African-Americans who were fortunate enough to have the benefits of education and all the access that I have had, my story starts with parents and aunts and uncles, and indeed in my case a grandparent, who got their start at historically black colleges," Rice said.

She praised partnerships between federal government departments and agencies and black colleges.

Last year, such colleges received $5 million in scholarships and grants from the State Department for language training, study abroad and exchange programs.

"It's good for the students, but it is good for America, too," she said. "Because when I go around the world, I want to see black Americans involved in the promotion and development of our foreign policy. I want to see a Foreign Service that looks as if black Americans are part of this great country."

All About Condoleezza RiceU.S. Department of State

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