Celebrate the Power of HBCUs with UNCF, 19 Mayors and 10 Cities on March 20

3/18, 6:01 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ten balls. Big names. One spectacular evening. Rounding out a month of busy and critical fundraising, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is asking donors, sponsors, friends and supporters of all kinds to come together this weekend and virtually attend and support one of UNCF’s Mayor’s Masked Balls being conducted around the country and help students in need get to and through college at some of the nation’s most important resources for students of color—historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Each year, UNCF presents its own version of “March Madness,” as local communities conduct glamorous masked balls and galas to help students realize their dreams of a college education via HBCUs and many other colleges and universities across the United States.

For 2021, the game has changed. Because of the current health pandemic, UNCF’s vital fundraising events will be virtual—all done online. This means anyone can attend an event of their choice from the comfort and safety of their home. An even better benefit? Since everything is virtual, attendees can participate in more than a single event, “traveling” across the country, visiting galas and balls in favorite cities.

“For more than 76 years, UNCF has fueled HBCUs with vital resources to educate generations of African American and other minority students,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO. “During an unprecedented time in our history compounded by COVID-19 and racial disparities, our students and institutions are faced with enormous challenges now more than ever. We are at risk of washing away a generation of talented and deserving African American and minority students. We need as many donations as possible right now because the students we help now will be our next generation of doctors, nurses, biologists, virologists, epidemiologists—the pandemic frontliners of the future. We invite everyone across the nation to join our upcoming events to help ensure better futures for us all.”

UNCF Masked Balls are premier fundraising and social events, focusing on raising public awareness of the importance of supporting deserving students, and generating large corporate and individual donations to help these students meet the expenses of a higher education. Hosted by a diverse group of corporate sponsors and local businesses, the events involve celebrities, dignitaries, civic leaders, volunteers, public officials, alumni and others who support UNCF’s mission of investing in better futures for us all by empowering students to get to and through college.

Acclaimed actor, producer and HBCU alumnus Samuel L. Jackson will host the national gala and make a special appearance at most events. Other special guests and performers to look for are:

  • Kenny Lattimore, Grammy® Award-nominated singer-songwriter
  • Chaka Khan, singer, songwriter, actor, activist and 10-time Grammy® Award-winner
  • Stephanie Mills, singer, songwriter and Broadway star

The Saturday, March 20, UNCF Mayor’s Masked Balls are:

Birmingham, AL
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Randall Woodfin

Charlotte, NC
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Vi Lyles

Columbus, GA
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Skip Henderson

Florence/Pee Dee, SC
Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin

Dallas, TX
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Eric Johnson

Hampton Roads, VA
UNCF Mayors’ Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Donnie Tuck
Mayor John L. Rowe, Jr.
Mayor Robert M. Dryer
Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander
Mayor Linda T. Johnson
Mayor McKinley L. Price
Dr. Richard W. West

Milwaukee, WI
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Tom Barrett

New Orleans, LA
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor LaToya Cantrell

Philadelphia, PA
UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Jim Kenney

Upstate South Carolina
Mayors’ Masked Ball
Hosted by Mayor Knox H.White
Mayor Richard Danner
Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin
Mayor Terrence Roberts
Mayor Knox White
Mayor Junie White

A recent UNCF survey of more than 5,000 students across 17 HBCUs found that many are dealing with difficulties such as sick family members, trouble paying bills and general stress from the ongoing pandemic and recent protests against police brutality. More than ever, support is needed as students and institutions are faced with challenges, including COVID-19 and racial disparities.


To learn more, to donate or to register for any of these events, please go to UNCF.org/MarchMadness.


About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." ® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

Monique LeNoir
United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF)
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