Mayor Purzycki Announces Details of Wilmington’s 4th Annual HBCU Week & College Fair; Due to COVID, All Events Are Virtual Since 2017, participating HBCUs have granted over 2,000 admission opportunities to local students and have awarded more than $5.5 million in scholarships.

Mayor Mike Purzycki and Wilmington’s HBCU Ambassador, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, today announced details of Wilmington’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week [] activities, which includes the HBCU College Fair, expanded to two days. HBCU Week opens today and will continue through Saturday, September 26. The presenting sponsors of the 2020 HBCU Week are the City and JP Morgan Chase []. This year, 36 HBCUs and 16 corporations will participate, enabling students to engage with college recruiters and corporate partners one on one, to discuss admission, scholarships, and internships.

Mayor Purzycki launched HBCU Week in 2017 to expose local high school students to the history, pride, and academic offerings of these colleges and universities, and to encourage young people to reach a new level of educational achievement. Since 2017, Mayor Purzycki and Mr. Smith noted that participating HBCUs have granted over 2,000 admission opportunities to local students and have awarded more than $5.5 million in scholarships.

“HBCU Week has been extremely successful because of an outpouring of support for our students who crave more educational opportunities,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Each year we’ve expanded the program to include a church service, a community service event, a concert, panel discussions, and the HBCU Battle of the Bands. Last year, Stephen A. Smith and Earvin “Magic” Johnson brought national prominence to the event for which we will be forever grateful. Our 4th year will be different and mostly virtual due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t in the least dampened the enthusiasm of our participating HBCUs and sponsors or the students who are ready to attend, present their education credentials, and move to a higher education.“

This year’s HBCU Week schedule, as presented below, features a first-ever two-day College Fair, a live broadcast of the ESPN First Take show with Stephen A. Smith [], HBCU Feud, a Lunch and Learn series, and panel discussions with players and corporate representatives from the National Football League, the Gucci Changemakers and the NAACP, and Grammy award-winning R&B artists Erykah Badu and Heath Lowery, President of Femme It Forward.

HBCU Week Virtual Experience/September 22nd – 26th
Location – Ugo Virtual Platform
Registration Details – To register for any HBCU event, visit []

Tuesday, September 22nd
Event – HBCU Feud
Time – 9pm – 10pm
Program Summary – Hosted by Blake, this virtual game show will feature participants from a variety of HBCUs, with questions centered on the HBCU experience.
Platform – Instagram Live @Blakethebrain

Wednesday, September 23rd
Event – Lunch and Learn Series, presented by the City of Wilmington
Time – 11am – 3pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – The lunch and learn series will be hosted by a variety of corporations.  Each lunch and learn will take place for one (1) hour.  The hosting corporation will have an audience of 1,000 kids to discuss the topic of their choice.  The first 500 registrants of each lunch and learn will receive an electronic Door Dash gift card. Participating Corporations: Deloitte – “What I Wish I Knew,” Barclays and Jet Blue Foundation – “Don’t Be Stumped By STEM,” DuPont – “HBCU + YOU,” and Capital One – “How To Manage Self-Doubt.”

Thursday, September 24th
Event #1 – Advancing Black Pathways Panel Discussion
Time – 5pm – 6pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – Advancing Black Pathways (an initiative of JPMorgan Chase), will host a panel discussion with an audience of 1,000 attendees on how they’re supporting HBCUs.  Panelists include Dr. Tony Allen (Delaware State University President), Dr. Michael Sorrell (Paul Quinn College President), and Elizabeth Liu (ED of Advancing Black Pathways)

Event #2 – Still I Rise: An Intimate Conversation with Heather Lowery and Erykah Badu
Time – 6pm – 7pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – Heather Lowery, CEO of Femme It Forward, will host an intimate conversation with Erykah Badu (Grammy Award Winning R&B Artist), centered on their HBCU experiences and their careers in entertainment.

Friday, September 25th
Even # 1 – Virtual College Fair Kickoff
Time – 9:30am – 10:00am
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – Advancing Black Pathways (an initiative of JPMorgan Chase), will kick off the college fair with a financial health kickoff

Event # 2– HBCU Week Virtual College Fair (Day One)
Time – 10am – 5pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – A total of 36 HBCUs and 16 corporations will attend.  Students will have the opportunity to engage with college recruiters and corporate partners one-on-one, to discuss admission, scholarships, and internships.  Acceptance on the spot will be available.
Participating Corporations – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Chemours, NFL, Salesforce, DuPont, Ketchum, Jet Blue Foundation, United Way, Astra Zeneca, NAACP, United States ARMY, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Deloitte, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Participating Colleges – Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Albany State University, Allen University, American Baptist College, Benedict College, Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Fort Valley State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Langston University, Lincoln University, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, Norfolk State University, Savannah State University, Southern University Shreveport LA, Shaw University, Stillman College, Texas Southern University, Tougaloo College, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of the District of Columbia, Virginia State University, West Virginia State University, Wilberforce University, Huston-Tillotson University.

Event # 3 – ESPN First Take LIVE Broadcast
Time – 10am – 12pm
Platform – ESPN
Program Summary – This episode of First Take will be dedicated to HBCU Week.  The history of HBCUs will be highlighted along with the work of HBCU Week Foundation.

Event # 4– Gucci Changemakers and NAACP Panel Discussion
Time – 1pm – 2pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Program Summary – The Gucci Changemakers Council will discuss their role as Councilmembers, the necessity of diversifying the fashion industry on both the corporate and creative sides, and their scholarship and internship opportunities available.

Saturday, September 26th
Event # 1 –HBCU Virtual College Fair (Day Two)
Time – 10am – 2pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual

Event # 2 – National Football League Athletics and Academics Panel Discussion
Time – 3pm – 4pm
Platform – Ugo Virtual
Panelists – Jim Trotter (NFL Network Talent), Aeneas Williams (NFL Legend), Traci Otey Blunt (NFL SVP of Communications), Micha Holmes (NFL Junior Rotational Program)
Program Summary– The NFL will facilitate a panel discussion on the panelists’ HBCU experience, highlighting their career paths to the NFL on both the corporate and player sides.

Special Thank You to the HBCU Week Foundation Sponsors
They include JPMorgan Chase – College Fair Presenting Sponsor; City of Wilmington – Lunch and Learn Series Presenting Sponsor; Deloitte; Bank of America; Chemours; First Take; National Football League;; Richards Layton & Finger; DuPont; Ketchum; Jet Blue Foundation; Capital One; Barclays; United Way; M&T Bank; NAACP and Gucci Changemakers.

During the HBCU College Fair, scholarship opportunities will be available from the HBCUs and from Chemours; Capital One; National Football League; and DuPont.

During the HBCU College Fair, internship opportunities will be available from United Way; M&T Bank |Wilmington Trust; Chemours; and Gucci Changemakers.


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