UNCF’s 17th Annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon Raises Record-Breaking $2.3 Million Dollars

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UNCF event 2019

Keynote Speaker Oprah Winfrey Announced $1,149,000 Matching Donation for Deserving Students and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Celebrating 75 years of service to the nation, more than 1,000 guests adorned with fascinators and hats attended UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) sold-out 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon Sept. 28 in Charlotte, raising a record-breaking $2,300,000 in support of education. Global media leader, producer, actress and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey headlined the signature fundraising event presented by Wells Fargo and bestowed an unrivaled moment by matching live fundraising efforts to donate $1,149,000 million.

Named after loyal UNCF supporter, the late Dr. Maya Angelou, the luncheon annually honors local women whose footprints positively impact the Charlotte regional community. Proceeds from the luncheon will be used to benefit students in North Carolina and the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that educate them.

“I believe in the power of education,” said Oprah Winfrey. “There is nothing better than to open the door for someone.”

“The smashing success of this event is due in large part to the dedication of committee members and volunteers, led by Tiffany Jones, our local area development director, and event co-chairs Tina Bonner-Henry and Sonja P. Nichols,” said Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO,UNCF.  Both Tina Bonner-Henry and Sonja P. Nichols (Florida A&M University) have co-chaired the luncheon for the last 3 years. Bonner-Henry’s special friendship with Winfrey secured her participation. “Oprah Winfrey’s record-breaking gift will be life-changing for our students and the historically black colleges and universities that serve them, continued Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “With her investment, we can continue to provide the resources our HBCUs need to do their invaluable work. We can fund scholarships that narrow the gap between college costs and family resources, and change the narrative of our HBCUs, who help strengthen and elevate a new generation of young, black and gifted students.”

“Words cannot express our gratitude to Ms. Winfrey,” said Jones. “Her inspiring words reminded us that we stand on the shoulders of many and our legacy isn’t based on one action. With her generous gift, we can secure better futures for Charlotte’s brightest students and that raises the bar for us all.”

North Carolina’s black female powerhouses came out in droves to support UNCF’s work, including U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (North Carolina A&T University alumna), Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Kristi Jones (North Carolina Central University alumna), chief of staff to Gov. Roy Cooper.

Other key attendees included Georgette Dixon (Tennessee State University), Senior Director of External Relations for National Constituents, Wells Fargo and founding luncheon member and North Carolina UNCF-member presidents Clarence D. Armbrister, Johnson C. Smith University; Dr. Paulette Dillard, Shaw University; and Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, Livingstone College. This year’s Women Who Lead honorees were Madelyn Caple, Western region managing director, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Tish Guerin, director of player wellness, Carolina Panthers; Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders, market executive, Bank of America; and Joan H. Zimmerman, CEO, Southern Shows.

Media Maven Cherise Belnavis emceed the sold-out affair, which featured shopping, entertainment provided by Johnson C. Smith University’s jazz ensemble, Harvey Cummings Trio and national recording artist Maria Howell; event favorite, the Hatitude competition, and student testimonials from Taylor Barnes, Miss UNCF; Imani and Cierra Graham, Bennett College alums and McKenzie Estep, sophomore at local member-school St. Augustine’s University.

Estep’s powerful testimony, including a quote from Avinash Gupta “Don’t let your life change your goals, because achieving your goals can change your life,” brought the audience to their feet. Estep continued, “It is through the power and lesson of these words that inspired me to overcome adversity and become a first-generation college student.” Inspired by Estep’s words, Kieth Cockrell, Head of Specialty Client Services, Bank of America and wife Serena Peltier Cockrell (Dillard graduate) told the sophomore “We got you,” and paid off her semester’s balance before the end of the event.

The event was made possible with support from presenting sponsor Wells Fargo; platinum sponsor, Bank of America; gold sponsors, Atrium Health, Duke Energy, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Novant Health; and individual supporters, including long-standing UNCF supporters Tina Bonner-Henry and Kevin Henry, the Joan H. Zimmerman Trust and many others.

“Wells Fargo has served as presenting sponsor of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon for the past eight years,” said Jay Everette, senior community relations manager, Wells Fargo. “At Wells Fargo, we understand the importance of UNCF’s mission and programming, and we support it in important ways. The Wells Fargo Foundation provides more than $1 million in funding annually to support UNCF scholarships and specific student programming. We sponsor the national UNCF Empower Me Tour to help students understand what it takes to get to and through college successfully. We have Wells Fargo senior leadership representation on UNCF’s national board, and many of our Wells Fargo team members provide human capital to UNCF in regional chapters across the country.”

Source: UNCF.org

NMSI and UNCF to Launch STEM Teacher Preparation Program with HBCUs in Six States and the District of Columbia

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Focused young African female college student working on a laptop on some stairs on campus preparing for an exam

The National Math and Science Initiative has received a planning grant from the Fund II Foundation to design UTeach STEM teacher preparation programs at up to 15 historically black colleges and universities in six states and the District of Columbia. The Dallas-based non-profit has partnered with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to support the universities as they design their programs.

“NMSI and UNCF are nationally recognized leaders in the advancement of American education,” said Fund II Foundation Board President Robert F. Smith. “I look forward to supporting them to develop strong programs that meet the unique needs of students at HBCUs. I’m also excited to see how this new work allows more young people to reach their highest potential in their personal lives, professions and communities.”

NMSI, UNCF and the UTeach Institute are working with academic leaders at potential program schools. Those institutions include Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Claflin University Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Talladega College, Tougaloo College and Tuskegee University. The institutions that move forward with the program will work with the program team to design their new STEM teacher preparation programs.

The new programs will be based on UTeach, a renowned university-based STEM teacher preparation program founded at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2009, NMSI has worked with the UTeach Institute to expand the program, which provides math and science undergraduates at 45 universities with teaching skills, classroom experience and continuing support in their early teaching careers.

UTeach teachers average longer classroom careers than graduates of other teacher preparation programs, and nearly 70 percent of UTeach graduates teach in Title 1 schools. Based on standardized testing, their students perform as if they had almost six extra months of science and four extra months of math instruction.

“Addressing STEM teacher shortages and ensuring that all students benefit from teachers of diverse backgrounds is critical and core to NMSI’s mission,” said NMSI CEO Bernard A. Harris, Jr. “Expanding the UTeach program to HBCUs will benefit students across the nation.”

The initiative comes just after passage of the FUTURE Act, providing permanent federal funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions and providing significant STEM-focused funding for those schools.

“As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, a professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, and the author of the FUTURE Act, which guarantees permanent federal funding for HBCUs to prepare the next generation of diverse STEM professionals, I applaud this effort from the private sector to supplement that effort,” said U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC). “In 2017, when my office introduced the HBCU Partnership Challenge, my hope was to encourage the private sector and non-profits to view HBCUs as key to accomplishing industry diversity goals, particularly in our STEM fields. Through this STEM teacher diversity initiative, we are seeing an example of true private investment and engagement with these producers of top diverse talent. I commend Robert Smith, the Fund II Foundation, NMSI and UNCF for their efforts in diversifying our workforce by helping prepare our diverse leaders of tomorrow.”

A 2017 study from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that having at least one African American teacher in third through fifth grades increased African American students’ interest in attending college by 29 percent and reduced the probability of dropping out of high school for male African American students from very low-income families by 39 percent.

“Research clearly shows the powerful impact black teachers have on black students. HBCUs already are punching above their weight in the production of STEM graduates – generating 24 percent of the STEM bachelor’s degrees earned annually by African Americans,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “The nation continues to have incredible need for math and science teachers of color, and students of color deserve to have educators who look like them.”

ABOUT NMSI
Founded in 2007, NMSI’s mission is to advance STEM education to ensure all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, thrive and reach their highest potential as problem solvers and lifelong learners. The nonprofit organization helps develop new STEM teachers through its Teacher Pathways programs, and supports schools, teachers and AP students through Laying the Foundation, the College Readiness Program and other research-based programs. Learn more at nms.org.

ABOUT UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization and for 75 years, it has supported private HBCUs and hundreds of thousands of deserving students, strengthened its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocated for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Learn more at UNCF.org.

About Fund II Foundation
Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)3 public charities in five areas: 1) preserving the cultural richness of the African-American experience; 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; 3) conserving the environment, promoting the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds; 4) affording music education to nourish both talent and the soul; and 5) sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and innovation. For more information, visit: fund2foundation.org | @Fund2F

About the UTeach Institute
The UTeach Institute works to improve secondary STEM teaching and learning through national expansion of the UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation program to colleges and universities. Over a decade, the Institute has developed and employs a comprehensive approach to successful program development in higher education settings and serves as the national hub to a networked community of 45 universities implementing UTeach programs.

Howard University Event Focused on Solving Financial Challenges, Building Economic Strength of African American Community

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Howard University and TIAA panel on stage at the University event

The TIAA and AARP sponsored event featured industry experts, including CBS National News Correspondent Michelle Miller.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2020 – Today, Howard University convened an important event focused on enhancing the economic strength and financial wellness of African Americans. The event, sponsored by TIAA and AARP, brought together industry experts for a discussion on the financial challenges African Americans face and potential solutions to critical issues, including financial literacy, saving for retirement, managing debt and student loans, home ownership, and wealth inequality.

“In working with our students and the community, Howard University witnesses firsthand the economic challenges African Americans face, and we are striving to help find and implement tangible solutions,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We believe businesses, organizations, and higher education institutions can work together to solve these challenges today, so African American students, families, and communities can be successful tomorrow.”

The “Financial Wellness in the African American Community: Reviewing the Evidence, Spotlighting Innovation and Considering Solutions” event featured two discussions: the first assessed the current financial and economic landscape and challenges African Americans face, followed by a discussion around potential solutions that could help improve African Americans’ overall financial wellbeing.

“African Americans constitute a critical segment of our economy, but our 2019 Personal Finance (P-Fin) Index shows they often exhibit lower financial wellbeing and financial literacy than many other demographics,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO of TIAA. “Financial education is an important way to help address these challenges. We know that people who are more financially literate are more likely to plan and save for retirement, to have non-retirement savings, and to better manage their debt – all of which lead to improved financial outcomes and wellbeing.”

“Although AARP’s work is focused on advocating on behalf of people age 50 and over, some issues transcend age. One of them is financial literacy,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “That’s why AARP is pleased to be part of this Howard University event that seeks to put the importance of financial resilience and savings firmly on the radar screens of the young African American leaders who comprise its community.”

CBS National News Correspondent Michelle Miller moderated the day’s conversations, in which insights were heard from top industry experts including:

  • Camille Busette, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D., Dean, School of Business, Howard University
  • Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy, George Washington University School of Business
  • Lisa Mensah, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network
  • Stacey Tisdale, Financial Journalist, Author, CEO, Mind Money Media Inc.
  • Frederick Wherry, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

The “Financial Wellness in the African American Community: Reviewing the Evidence, Spotlighting Innovation and Considering Solutions” took place on Friday, January 31 at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

About TIAA

With an award-winning1 track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA (TIAA.org) is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $1 trillion in assets under management (as of 12/31/20192) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
1 The Lipper Mixed-Assets Large Fund Award is given to the group with the lowest average decile ranking of three years’ Consistent Return for eligible funds over the three-year period ended 11/30/15 (against 39 fund families), 11/30/16 (36), 11/30/17 (35) and 11/30/18 (35). Note this award pertains to mixed-assets mutual funds within the TIAA-CREF group of mutual funds; other funds distributed by Nuveen Securities were not included. From Thomson Reuters Lipper Awards, © 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited. Certain funds have fee waivers in effect. Without such waivers ratings could be lower. Past performance does not guarantee future results. For current performance, rankings and prospectuses, please visit the Research and Performance section on TIAA.org. The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.

2 Based on $1.1 trillion of assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams as of 12/31/19.

Charles Barkley donates $1 million to Miles College, an HBCU in his native Alabama

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76rs great Charles Barkley speaks at a podium

Over the course of his philanthropic efforts, Charles Barkley has made injecting cash into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a priority.

Recently, Miles College — an HBCU located in Fairfield, Alabama — announced a $1 million gift from Barkley, the largest donation by a donor in the school’s 122-year history.

Barkley has previously donated $1 million to a trio of HBCUs: Clark Atlanta, Morehouse College and Alabama A&M. His most recent donation will jumpstart a $100 million fundraising campaign, interim school president Bobbie Knight said.

“What Barkley has done helps lay the foundation for the campaign,” Knight said.

Knight became the school’s first female president last July, and making sure her tenure includes financial resources was a goal of Barkley’s.

“I’ve gotten to know Bobbie Knight over the last year and it was something I really wanted to do,” Barkley said. “To have a female president is a big deal. I want to help Bobbie be as successful as she can be.”

Continue on to USA Today to read more.

American Airlines adds to executive ranks with new hire

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Ken Charles headshot

American Airlines added a new executive that will focus on diversity, the carrier recently announced. Kenneth Charles was named the chief inclusion and diversity officer for American Airlines Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL).

Charles comes to American from U.S. Bank, where he was senior vice president of Enterprise Talent. He also previously worked at General Mills as vice president of Global Inclusion and Staffing and chief diversity officer.

In his role with American, Charles will establish the company’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the airline strives to establish best practices.

“We are on a journey to enhance our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion across American, and Ken will help chart our course to ensure American is an industry leader,” said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of American, in a prepared statement.

“Our decision to become more intentional in this area is vital to our global business,” Parker added. “Ken will provide a needed and important voice in all of our critical decision-making.”

Charles comes into a roll American has been aiming to fill for several months.

Continue on to BizJournal to read the complete article.

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens New Exhibition, “We Return Fighting”

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we return fighting sign in the museum

We Return Fighting: The African American Experience in World War I” recently opened at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. On view until June 14, 2020, the exhibition examines the impact of the war on African life 100 years since it ended.

Covering nearly 100 years of history, from 1865 to 1963, the exhibition is divided into three sections: Pre-War, During the War and Post-War. “We Return Fighting” explores the full range of African American participation in the war—from serving in segregated units as laborers and supply handlers in the United States and France to earning major military awards after fighting alongside the French in Europe. The exhibition goes beyond war history to show how that global conflict changed African American life, contributing to the birth of the Negro Renaissance and the civil rights and labor movements.

“Some 17 to 21 million soldiers and civilians died in what was the worst war in modern history,” said Spencer D. Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Empires fell, maps were redrawn and the lives of countless people were forever changed. For African Americans, the war tested the meaning of citizenship and patriotism. They went to war fighting for democracy abroad; they returned fighting for democracy at home.”

African Americans returned to a segregated America where lynchings were on the rise and poor black sharecroppers were leaving the South in search of factory jobs in the North and the West. Those who were highly vocal with their protests became known as “The New Negro,” aggressively pursuing social justice and civil rights.

“On and off the battlefield, during and after the war, African

su-committee
The sub-committee of Management and Counsel of Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (1907-1908)
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Charles Hamilton Houston, J. and Dr. Rosemary Jagus

Americans were fighting for their rights and to make equality a reality,” said Krewasky A. Salter, exhibition curator. “They were asked to serve, but they were subjected to unfair draft practices and were the victims of the one of the largest and most unjust court martials in American history. After the war, the time was right for thinkers and for activists to step forward and help create a better America.”

The exhibition explores the work and the impact of nine African American luminaries who emerged as prominent thinkers and activists: A. Philip Randolph, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Col. Charles Young, Mary Church Terrell, Lt. Charles Hamilton Houston, Oscar de Priest, Josephine Baker and Robert Abbott.

Among the exhibition highlights:

  • The Croix de Guerre, the medal France used to recognize the valor of the 369th Infantry Regiment. The unit fought with distinction on the front lines of France for 191 consecutive days and suffered more than 1,400 casualties. Each member of the unit was awarded the medal
  • Paintings, drawings and sculptures created by major African American artists, including Charles Alston, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Horace Pippin, Henry O. Tanner
  • A touch-screen interactive giving access to 146 soldier photographs and details of their war-time duty
  • A 1918 photograph of President Woodrow Wilson, Gen. John J. Pershing and an unidentified African American soldier, an image used as a souvenir to document and celebrate the African American participation in the war
  • Oil paintings by French artist Lucien Hector Jonas, c. 1917
  • Uniforms worn by French, Senegalese and African Americans
  • A collection of weapons ranging from pistols, rifles and sabers to items connected to the use of poisonous gas

The museum developed the exhibition in partnership with Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale. Based in France, this organization was created to research the impact of World War I through the lens of the African American experience and to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war. The exhibition is supported by Altria Group, Nationwide Foundation and The Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Major funding comes from the Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale.

Located inside the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, “We Return Fighting” fills more than 4,000 square feet of space with never-before-seen photographs, original uniforms and weapons, historic film footage, and interactive features. Numerous unique artifacts on display are presented in this exhibition through generous cooperation of institutions in France including: Musée de la Grande Guerre, Historial de la Grande Guerre,  La Contemporaine, Bibliotéque, archives, musée des mondes contemporains, Musée de l’Armée, and Musée franco-américain du Château de Blérancourt. Additional loan of historic materials from U.S. institutions have enhanced the exhibition including, The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Women in Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, the Library of Congress and many others. The exhibition is presented with a companion book, “We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity.”

About the Companion Book

We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, Smithsonian Books, 160 pages, $19.95. Edited by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This book presents photographs, artifacts, medals and renderings of battle scenes alongside powerful essays that together explore the roles played by African Americans during World War I and how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities once they returned home.

With a foreword by Phillippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States, and an introduction by Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture., the book contains essays by renowned writers, historians and scholars including Lisa Budreau, Brittney Cooper, John Morrow, Krewasky Salter, Curtis Young, Chad Williams and Jay Winter.

About the Curator

Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., U.S. Army colonel (retired), is the executive director of the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois.  As a guest curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, he curated the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Double Victory: The African American Military Experience.” He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Strategic Studies from the Air War University, Maxwell AFB in Alabama and a doctorate from Florida State University. He has taught courses in military history, strategy and leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point; the Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth; and Howard University. The author of two books, he served as associate producer of the PBS documentary, Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots.

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture  

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed nearly seven million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

5-Year-Old Drumming Prodigy Receives Scholarship Offer From HBCU

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5-Year-Old Drumming Prodigy marching in high school band playing his drums

Musical prodigies showcase their otherworldly abilities at a young age, but Jeremiah Travis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And the historically black Alcorn State University apparently feels the same way, as it has offered the 5-year-old wunderkind a full band scholarship well over a decade before he even graduates high school.

USA Today reports that when he does finally graduate high school in 2032, he’ll have a home in the school’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Band. “Now, to know that he is 5 and has a full scholarship made me feel so good,” his mother, Nicole Jackson, said. “I am just amazed at his playing level with him being so young.

Travis’ journey as a drummer began with beating on ABC blocks as a baby, and now the snare drummer for St. Helena College’s high school marching band is a familiar face at performances throughout Louisiana, including halftime shows for the New Orleans Pelicans. Most kids his age are playing with toys or spending their afternoons with an Xbox controller in their hands, but Travis would much rather spend his time perfecting his craft.

“He’s not a video game person,” Jackson said. “He likes to move and learn different things with drums.” Chesteron Frye, band director at St. Helena College and former student band director at Alcorn State University, took an immediate interest in Travis after spotting him drumming in the stands. “He was sitting in the stands just beating on the stands with some drumsticks and I was like, ‘Who is this little baby keep beating drum sticks in the stands?’” Frye told WAFB.

“So we told him come on over and we held the drum out, someone was holding it, and he just started going, going against the other band across the field and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Frye said.

Continue on to The Root to read the complete article.

Interland Free Game Makes the Holiday Season Fun

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Interland games

Be Internet Awesome Teaches Kids the Fundamentals of Internet Safety in an Interactive Way

Just in time for the Holidays, Interland aims to teach kids in a fun way how to stay safe online.

The Interland game is free and accessible to everyone and teaches important lessons like being careful about what kids share online, how to spot scams and protect their privacy and the importance of being respectful with others.

The four lands and their key learning objectives are:

 

Reality River

Don’t Fall for Fake.  The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters. Learning objectives include:

  • Understand not everything is true online.
  • Recognize the signs of a scam.
  • Understand phishing and how to report it.

Mindful Mountain

Share with Care. The mountainous town center of Interland is a place where everyone mingles and crosses paths. But you must be very intentional about what you share and with whom…information travels at the speed of light and there’s an oversharer among the Internauts you know. Learning objectives include:

  • Be mindful of what is shared and with whom.
  • Understand consequences of sharing.
  • Understand some info is extra sensitive.

Kind Kingdom

It’s cool to be kind. Vibes of all kinds are contagious—for better orInterland game with water and a boat for worse. In the sunniest corner of town, cyberbullies are running amok, spreading negativity everywhere. Block and report bullies to stop their takeover and be kind to other Internauts to restore the peaceful nature of this land. Learning objectives include:

  • The web amplifies kindness and negativity.
  • Not tolerating bullying and speaking up.
  • Block and report mean spirited behavior.

Tower of Treasure

Secure your secrets. Mayday! The Tower is unlocked, leaving the Internaut’s valuables like personal info and passwords at high risk. Outrun the hacker and build an untouchable password every step of the way…to secure your secrets once and for all. Learning objectives include:

  • Take responsibility to protect your things.
  • How to make a strong password.
  • A good password should be memorable.

Interland is currently available in English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. To access this free game visit:

https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/interland

Expert Advice: Getting into an HBCU Grad School

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graduates walking in cap and gowns on HBCU campus

Need help getting accepted to an HBCU grad school? Dr. Fred Bonner—professor and endowed chair in educational leadership and counseling, and founding executive director of the Minority Achievement, Creativity and High-Ability Center at Prairie View A&M University—gives his best advice in an interview with gograd.com.

What are some of the top reason’s students should seriously look at HBCU grad schools as their best graduate option?

There are a number of reasons that HBCU graduate schools should be considered as the best option:

  1. HBCUs provide holistic nurturing. Both the academic and social needs of students are addressed by administration, faculty, and staff in the HBCU context. All too often in majority settings, students, particularly black students, must live a bifurcated existence; namely, their needs related to academic and classroom endeavors supersede their needs for mentoring and nurturing along social dimensions.
  2. Faculty in the HBCU context serve as role models and guides to assist the student to negotiate and navigate the postsecondary terrain. This mentoring and role modeling in the HBCU environment are nuanced with cultural inferences and understandings that provide a more authentic rendering of what the students are experiencing.
  3. Being in an environment where students are able to interface with like-minded peers is critical. Students are able to “see themselves” on campus—the literature is clear in stating the importance of peer mentoring and support in the postsecondary context.
  4. Students are placed in an environment in which their academic potential and success are the expectation and norm, as opposed to being viewed as an outlier.
Headshot Dr. Fred Bonner
Dr. Fred Bonner

Any tips for students on what to look for when choosing the best graduate programs at HBCUs?

Students should “do their homework” and find out how programs are ranked—they should look into the various course offerings. What are the majors and minors offered in the program of interest? Who are the faculty members in the respective colleges, schools, departments, and programs? What are their areas of expertise? How is the curriculum structured—what courses are offered and how often? Is the program a face-to-face, online, traditional, cohort-based program? What has been the program’s graduation rate? What is the graduate school graduation rate? What are graduates doing with their degrees? Are they finding employment in their intended area of focus?

Anything else you’d like to add about HBCU grad schools?

HBCU graduate schools are ‘citadels of excellence,’ and I am not surprised that the extant literature indicates that in many fields—particularly the STEM fields—more than 50 percent of the graduates and working professionals have had some educational experience in the HBCU context.

Follow Dr. Bonner’s advice, and you can make your dream of going to an HBCU grad school a reality.

Source: Reprinted with Permission by Dr. Fred Bonner

Rihanna Launches Another Big First: A Visual Autobiography

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Rihanna pictured in gold and black long dress at her book launch party

With only two months left in the year, Rihanna continues racking up a number of big wins. Recently at New York City’s revered art institution, the Guggenheim Museum, the fashion and beauty industry disrupter celebrated the release of Rihanna, the lavish large format book that features 1000 photos—many never seen before images from her days growing up in Barbados to candid moments between her global jaunts with friends and family.

As Rihanna welcomed invited guests—including many Navy fans—to the book launch, she acknowledged the book’s many contributors and artisans, including the Haas Brothers, who she said “they decided to do something this huge and dream this up with me.”

But the celebrated multihyphenate couldn’t finish her next acknowledgment after simply saying three words, “my bestie Melissa.”

The crowd erupted into thunderous applause for her long time friend Melissa Forde, who has a number of photographs featured in the book. “Thank you for these intimate images of life,” said Rihanna. “I didn’t even know the camera was here.”

She also thanked her tour photographer Dennis Leupold, who has shot a number of ESSENCE covers including Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson and the cast of Black Panther, by calling him “a legend in his own right.”

Rihanna book is pictured opened with two pages filled with photos

And if Rihanna, which is 504 pages and weighs 15 pounds, wasn’t special enough, the artist has created three other unique editions. Already available, the Fenty x Phaidon edition, “This Sh*t is Heavy,” includes a copy of the book and a tabletop bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands. On November 20, the Luxury Supreme edition is signed and numbered by Rihanna and a “Drippy + The Brain” gold toned bookstand covered with a bespoke black vermiculated fabric (together it weighs 126 pounds). Lastly, the Ultra Luxury Supreme edition, entitled “Stoner,” includes a Portugal marble pedestal.

Rihanna will be available on October 24.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.

Meet NBMBAA’s New President & CEO: Kay Wallace

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Kay Wallace of the National Black MBA Association stands with a dress suit on in front of a NBMBAA logo filled canvas for picture taking

Kay Wallace lives by the quote, “Results. Period.” The new president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association—which just held its 41st Annual Conference and Exposition in Houston, Texas—is all about achieving results.

Black EOE Journal attended the action-packed conference in September and had the pleasure of speaking with Wallace about her goals as new president of NBMBAA.

Tell us about your background and how you became the new president of NBMBAA.
I have a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. My experience is in strategy and operations. I was the deputy chief operating officer of the Atlanta Olympic Games, and worked for Coca-Cola in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. I’ve worked for McKinsey & Company and Dow Chemical, have had experiences inside and outside of the U.S., and have worked for nonprofit startups, which is all part of my background before coming to National Black MBA.

What are your goals for NBMBAA, now that you’re the new president?
Meeting the needs of our 16,000 members is [goal] number one. That we’re providing products, services and programs that are relevant to them. We are always engaging in conversations with them, about what they need and what will be of value to them. Number two—the organization is going into our 50th anniversary next year, and we want to make sure that not only do we celebrate where we’ve been, but we also take that same celebration to where we’re going. That is part of my vision for the organization— to be clear about what we’re going to do to make sure there are more black people in corporate America, that there are more entrepreneurs and that we are also building and retaining wealth within black families. Education, development and wealth generation—those are three parts of our mission that we’ve been focusing on in the last 50 years and will continue to do so.

Why do you think it’s important for students to join NBMBAA?
Fifty years ago, this organization was created out of a need. That need still exists today because in a lot of places in corporate America, there’s still very few of us, meaning black people. Students should look into joining this organization because it is made up of people who have been where you’re going. Some of them are still there, so they can provide the same things to you. Students can network with people who know and understand what they may experience. Then bring together those experiences for professional development. You can do it at your chapter and then nationally when we come together for Conference, where you are going to meet thousands of people like yourself—that is very powerful.

What advice would you give to a student looking for their next job or career at the expo?
The first question I would have to ask is, “What is your vision? What do you want?” Because what has to be talked about is within the context of what their desires are. Once I understand that, I’ll be looking at the 170 companies on the career floor that can provide opportunities to meet their needs. Sometimes we find that students will be thinking about their major, but not all the companies they can work for are based on their degree. They may have their sights set on a particular industry, like a marketing company. A student may say, “I’m in marketing, I want to work for Coca-Cola, or I want to work for Pepsi.” But when you broaden their vision to understand that there’s marketing in everything, all of a sudden, companies out of the 170 that they weren’t considering, they [now] realize they can interview there. I would then ask them, “Is there an entrepreneurial opportunity for you here? If your vision is to own your own company, then think about what’s the best company to work for, that will allow you to learn while you’re there so you’re able to start your own without starting from scratch.”

To learn about the National Black MBA Association, visit nbmbaa.org

PepsiCo Beverages North America & ESSENCE Launch “She Got Now” Multi-Tiered Platform Celebrating

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Students graduating university waving

PepsiCo Beverages North America, in partnership with ESSENCE, recently introduced “She Got Now” – a multi-tiered platform that celebrates, supports and honors young Black women aspiring to and attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country.

The platform launch will commence with a multi-campus tour honoring the homecoming traditions unique to four major HBCUs, culminating with the inaugural Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program, named in honor of one of the first Black professionals to enter the corporate workforce, through a job at PepsiCo.

“We are honored to partner with ESSENCE to launch ‘She Got Now,’ a platform that celebrates the innate entrepreneurial spirit of young Black women and shines the spotlight on the fantastic culture of our nation’s top HBCUs,” said Hampton University graduate, Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “To be able to honor PepsiCo’s very own Allen McKellar Jr., a remarkable individual in Black history, who reflects the values and ideals PepsiCo still holds today, and simultaneously honor these young women is incredibly special.”

“For generations, HBCUs have served Black students – particularly Black women – having graduated trailblazing women from Oprah Winfrey to Alice Walker. As today’s student body builds upon this legacy, we are excited to continue to empower the next group of emerging leaders,” noted Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer, ESSENCE Communications. “‘She Got Now’ will serve as an extension of ESSENCE’s nearly 50-year mission to celebrate and support Black women; and together, with PepsiCo, we will continue to deepen this commitment.”

The “She Got Now” platform came to life with a multi-campus tour at Florida A&M University, followed by stops at Howard University on October 12, Hampton University on October 26 and the last stop at Norfolk State University on November 2. The tour will feature top DJs, and battle of the band competitions between opposing marching bands where fans can vote on who wins. Each stop will be hosted by Doug E. Fresh and feature a bevy of today’s stars across music and entertainment, including Saweetie, Gia Peppers, Rotimi, Terence J, Scottie Beam and DJ Envy.

Starting mid-November, the “She Got Now” Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program will be open to all young Black women aspiring to or attending one of the participating HBCUs. Applicants should follow Pepsi’s and ESSENCE’s Twitter pages for more information and updates on “She Got Now” platform.

About PepsiCo:
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 20.2 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, technology-driven company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.

 

SOURCE PepsiCo Beverages North America

MBA Salaries in the U.S. Highest on Record

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African American woemn graduationg college with her cap and gown on

Recent graduates with an advanced business degree, particularly in the United States, are procuring substantial starting salaries. The median annual base starting salary U.S. employers plan to offer new MBA hires is $115,000—more than double the median for new bachelor’s degree hires ($55,000) and the highest ever recorded in the United States.

By industry among U.S. employers, median MBA starting salaries are highest in the consulting ($135,000) and finance/accounting ($125,000) industries.

“Employers clearly place a high value on acquiring MBA and business master’s graduates,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “We are seeing a highly active candidate marketplace in terms of geographical shifts in study destinations, but the value that both employers and graduates see in an advanced business degree is a constant.”

Overall, most employers have increased MBA starting salaries (56 percent), including 63 percent of Asia-Pacific employers, 56 percent of U.S. employers, and 49 percent of European employers. Median annual base starting salaries vary considerably by world region. European companies plan to offer new MBA hires $95,000, and the median for Asia-Pacific companies is $45,000.

Source: globenewswire.com

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