Happy September, #HBCUNation! We’re on a busy start of our Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour that supports Black College Sports, highlights HBCU football and classics, and spread the word of HBCUs to those seeking to attend college. We’re raising resources that are essentials to continue the successes and necessary work that we do for higher education. It’s hopeful that you will inspire us by rising to the challenge of helping us continue to Campaign For HBCUs. Now, I have one favor to ask: we need 100 donors to make our goal of $1,000 before midnight. Will you be one?

Your gift before midnight tonight, will help with various range of expenses for the tour, including providing scholarships, purchase of game/college fair tickets for youth who needs it most, and material/travel expenses.

Can I count on you to make a gift to HCF to ensure our work continues? Click here to be one of the 100 donors!

When you’re one of the 100 donors today, you’ll not only help us reach our goal, you’ll be directly responsible for our continued work and advocacy for students and higher education.


Again, your support today will ensure that we can continue to expand our outreach to under-resources communities and to strengthen our capacity to care for students and higher ed institutions.


Thank you for making our efforts a success. This important work can’t happen with you. Thank you for your generosity.

With gratitude,

Drake State Community & Technical College S.C. O’Neal Sr. Library and Technology Center on its campus in Huntsville, Alabama. Photo credits HCF Media Team.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Drake State Community & Technical College received a $2.4 million grant award as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA), Connecting Minority Communities Pilot (CMCP) program, to help eliminate historical broadband and computer access inequities in and around Madison County, Alabama. Drake State applied for the competitive federal grant, along with more than 200 universities and colleges across the United States.

Drake State prepares working adults, college, and high school students for careers in the Madison County/Huntsville area. Drake was one of the first five universities and the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to be awarded a CMCP grant by the federal government.

Drake State will use the federal funding to implement a computer and broadband access program that includes:

  • furnishing Drake students, including high school students who are dually enrolled at the College, with access to enabled laptops;
  • increasing at-home broadband access for Drake State students and their family members by providing home wireless broadband kits to those eligible families within a 15-mile radius of the college campus; and
  • Creating a mobile cyber-lab learning bus.

Drake State will also partner with two other universities, Alabama A&M University to implement secure, online student access to learning, teaching, and research resources, such as the library, mental health services, or information on food assistance, and Western Governors University to expand access to a National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security certified cyber defense degree program in cybersecurity.

“We are incredibly proud to win this significant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Drake State will use the federal funds to address long-standing digital inequities by offering laptops with broadband internet service to each and every Drake State student, and additional connectivity to their families,” said Dr. Patricia G. Sims, Drake State President. “This technology will help eliminate the digital divide for our community and open doors to learning, connect working adults and students to employers, and provide economic and career mobility for Drake State’s students.”

In acknowledging the award, Dr. Sims extended a personal, heartfelt thank you to the Governor and L.t. Governor for their continued support of Drake’s students, and appreciation for Drake partners, Alabama A&M and Western Governors University. “we are so grateful for your partnership and support for Drake State students.”

“All of us in the Alabama Community College System family are celebrating the good news that Drake State Community and Technical College was chosen as one of the first five grantees for the NTIA Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program,” said Dr. Vicky Ohlson, Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor of Instruction, Research, and Development. “We could not be more proud of Drake State’s leadership, faculty, and staff for their hard work in developing a winning project proposal. The work that will be accomplished by Drake with the help of this funding will expand access to critical broadband technology and services to many more students and other residents in the College’s anchor community. It will remove barriers to higher education, training, and employment that have historically been insurmountable for those who need those opportunities the most. We are looking forward with great excitement to see how Drake’s project changes individual lives and strengthens the information technology workforce in the Huntsville-Madison County area.”

Other notable federal grants recently awarded to Drake State to expand opportunities for students include:

  • In August 2020, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), awarded a cooperative agreement notice (CAN) to Drake State to assist in 3D printing technologies research and train additive manufacturing technicians.
  • In August 2021, NASA MSFC awarded another CAN to Drake State to advance research in 3D printing of polymer structures. Research results and deliverables will help prepare for and sustain future lunar and Martian missions.
  • In September of 2021, Drake State received a three-year grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education (MUREP) to increase the number of engineering education and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Established in 1961, Drake State Community and Technical College is a historically black community college located in Huntsville, home of the first growing, highly technical aerospace and defense industry, including the NASA Marshall Flight Center, US Army Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Parks. Drake State offers flexible, affordable university-transfer 2-year and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized technical skills training for Huntsville/Madison County employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

Dear Supporters,

I wanted to inform you of the advocacy efforts that our organization does in support of students, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) 365 days of the year. Everyday, HCF tirelessly advocate for the better future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education.

We’d love to hear why you choose to support HCF. You can share your reasons on social media using the hashtag #HCFILoveMyHBCU. We will share some of the heartwarming #HCFILoveMyHBCU stories on our social media pages.

We thank you so much for your support. Your support and contributions only helps to strengthen our mission further each and every day, and continues the long-lasting fight to Campaign For HBCUs. Whether you serve on staff, volunteered, donated, or read or shared our content, it’s much appreciated. Because We Are HBCUs!

Warms Regards,
Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

2022 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands Presented by Toyota

HOUSTON, TX – Event organizers for the Pepsi National Battle of the Bands presented by Toyota announced that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, August 27 at NRG Stadium and will kick off at 6:00 p.m. CST.

“Each year we strive to make the National Battle of the Bands event an experience that not only celebrates and amplifies the visibility of HBCU marching bands, but also, serves and support the community,” says Derek Webber, National Battle of the Bands Creator and CEO, Webber Marketing. ”Whether it’s working with minority business owners and creating job opportunities, providing scholarships to college and high school bands programs, or hosting a college recruitment fair where high school students get accepted on-site, we have dynamic partners like Pepsi, Toyota, JP Morgan Chase and more who are committed to our vision of creating sustainable impact within the communities we serve.”

Created to celebrate, support, and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands, the NBOTB is the largest HBCU marching band event and the second largest African American event in the state of Texas. More than 2,000 members of eight of the nation’s top marching bands will kick off their Fall marching band season at the NBOTB while showcasing the culture of their universities and their unique style and sound. The showcase will feature sounds from the following bands:

  • Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band
  • Alcorn State University, The Sounds of Dyn-O-mite Marching Band
  • Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats
  • Grambling State University, World Famed Tiger Marching Band
  • Kentucky State University, Mighty Marching Thorobreds
  • NCA&T University, The Blue and Gold Marching Machine
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm Band
  • Southern University, Human Jukebox
Kentucky State University’s Mighty Marching Thorobreds preparing to take the field for the halftime performance during 2019’s Circle City Classic. Photo courtesy of HCF Media Relations.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming eight of the nation’s best marching bands to Houston,” said Chris Massey, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) Vice President. ”The National Battle of the Bands is the perfect event to celebrate and amplify the city’s love of arts, education, and HBCU culture. We are looking forward to packing the house and celebrating with fans from all over the country!”

The NBOTB partnership with HCHSA is a significant one because it supports the advancement of the event’s mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. The partnership also aims to boost the growth of scholarships and expand the awareness of higher learning with music, arts, and entertainment.

Tickets on sale to the 2022 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands presented by Toyota

Several official NBOTB events will also return, including the Pepsi NBOTB presented by Toyota, Step and Stroll Band Culture Kickoff, The Emerge Experience Entrepreneur Event Presented by J.P. Morgan Chase, and HBCU S.T.E.M. College Recruitment.

To purchase tickets and for more information about the NBOTB, visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.

About National Battle of the Bands
The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $700,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.


MISSISSIPPI – In the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, five of Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities received an unsubstantiated bomb threat to our campuses. Once the threat was received, we each worked with our Department of Public Safety and local emergency response personnel to thoroughly investigate and determine the extent of the threat. Subsequently law enforcement officials cleared all campuses. The fact that these threats came on the first day of Black History Month proves these actions were intentional attempts to disrupt, invoke fear and discourage our faculty, staff, scholars, and the campus communities. Despite these threats, Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities – WE STAND UNITED!

Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, Tougaloo College, Coahoma Community College, and Hinds Community College, Utica have long served our state and nation as educational beacons and have been a critical engine of life-changing opportunities for thousands of graduates and current students. We remain committed to ensuring each institution’s continued growth and success while guarding the safety of our greatest assets – our students.

Though we are forced to navigate some of the most politically and socially polarizing times in this nation’s history, collectively, we will remain strong and resilient and not be intimidated or fearful. As Mississippi’s HBCU community, we will continue our mission to inspire and empower the next generation of change agents who will go on to boldly confront hatred and injustice as it exists in all its forms.

The threats we received, along with several other HBCUs across the country, Illustrate the need for us to support one other. We are stronger together. As HBCUs, our histories speak of trials and triumphs, contest and courage, limitations and longevity. We are here on purpose, and we must be diligent in preserving and promoting our past, present, and future to further prove our importance and relevance to this nation’s economy and landscape.

Together we will forge ahead with a common purpose to advance academic excellence, promote good moral character, maintain professional integrity, and stand on the truth, and our institutions will continue to persevere as many of us have done for more than 100 years. We ask that the alumni and friend/supporters of our institutions join us as we stand against hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. This is our voice. This is our fight. These are our HBCUs.

Felecia M. Nave, Ph.D., President – Alcorn State University

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., President – Jackson State University

Jerryl Briggs, Ed.D., President – Mississippi Valley State University

Ivy R. Taylor, Ed.D., President – Rust College

Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D., President – Tougaloo College

Valmadge T. Towner, Ph.D., President – Coahoma Community College

Stephen Vacik, Ed.D., President – Hinds Community College, Utica

Newly established PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative to help cultivate entrepreneurship resources and opportunities for students at five universities through grant funding

RALEIGH, N.C. – The PNC Foundation is awarding more than $2 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in North Carolina to establish the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, an effort that aims to enrich the future of entrepreneurship and create workforce opportunities in the state.

The grants will be distributed over a three-year period to help fund the development and delivery of entrepreneurship resources and programming for students at Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State University – institutions that play an integral role in cultivating Black business leaders and fostering wealth creation in Black communities.

“At PNC, we recognize how important HBCUs are to our state’s success,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “HBCU graduates contribute significantly to be talent pipeline that is fueling North Carolina’s economy, and these institutions are foundational to shaping the workforce North Carolina needs to remain competitive in business.”

With an emphasis on entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative will enable grantee institutions to enhance their respective entrepreneurship curricula and offerings – from the introduction of new programs, to capacity-building opportunities, to technology enhancements. Additionally, students from all five schools will have the opportunity to participate in the PNC Pitch Competition, an annual forum where student-entrepreneurs can showcase innovative ideas and demonstrate their marketing skills.

“PNC shares with these institutions a vision for advancing inclusive entrepreneurship education and opportunities,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “This initiative is the latest example of our ongoing support for North Carolina HBCUs, which over the years has included grant funding, mentorship programs and financial literacy education. We look forward to joining student-entrepreneurs and their campus communities on this meaningful , three year journey.”

The grant recipients will use the funding as follows:

  • Elizabeth City State University: The university will broaden the scope of its current business program portfolio to expand the Entrepreneur Lab, which offers resources and development opportunities for students interested in launching and marketing a business. Additionally, the funding will establish the PNC Entrepreneurship Fellow Program and support Viking Shark Entrepreneurship Week, which provides the opportunity for teams for North Carolina HBCUs to practice pitching their business ideas in front of judges.
  • Fayetteville State University: Funding will support the buildout of the Fayetteville State University Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), an action learning opportunity designed to help students accelerate new ideas and product development. Student entrepreneur teams creating or growing their own ventures may compete for E-Lab funding to help fuel their projects. Additionally, the E-Lab will offer business and economic development support for community members and fosters self-employment opportunities.
  • Johnson C. Smith University: The university will launch the PNC Entrepreneurship Hub, which will provide selected student-entrepreneurs- PNC Fellows – with space that is conducive to developing and launching new businesses. In addition to incubator space, the hub will equip PNC Fellows with access to technology, seed funding and mentorship to help them launch new businesses to take existing businesses to the next level.
  • North Carolina Central University: Grant funding will help establish the North Carolina Central University Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED), a university-based program that will provide CEED Student Fellows with entrepreneurial and community economic development education and comprehensive small business finance training, with the encouragement to become community development investors.
  • Winston-Salem State University: The grant will fund the development of the PNC Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, which will help selected students fellows learn critical aspects of new venture creation by participating in nationally certified programs, workshops, research and one-on-one mentoring with successful North Carolina entrepreneurs.

“While entrepreneurship is the central focus of the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, each grantee is approaching the scope of their projects differently to meet the needs and opportunities unique to each institution,” said Lori Jones Gibbs, PNC Community Development Banking market manager for the Carolinas. “This initiative underscores the many creative ways entrepreneurship is coming to life for North Carolina students.”

These grants align with PNC’s support for HBCUs throughout the country and complement the ongoing development of the Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, this funding is part of PNC’s nationwide $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, which is inclusive of a previously announced commitment of more than $1 billion to support the economic empowerment of Black and low- and moderate-income communities.


CHICAGO, IL – In January, several HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) have had to lock down or postpone classes due to bomb threats. Now, on the first day of Black History Month, more than a dozen HBCUs reported bomb threats for the third time. Howard University has received a bomb threat for the third time.

HCF Founder, President & CEO Demetrius Johnson Jr., issued the following statement on the third round of bomb threats targeting and threatening HBCU campuses. More than a dozen HBCUs get bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month

“Several HBCUs have received bomb threats that have put those campuses in harm, and a horrifying situation to react accordingly. As an advocacy organization for HBCUs, we are disheartened and disturbed by the continuous notice of bomb threats at HBCU campuses. The strength of our HBCU institutions truly matter; they are sacred places to our nation that we must preserve. We hope that these crimes will bring justice to those responsible and that this is a top priority for federal law enforcement. Please don’t be silent about this. If you have any information that could assist federal law enforcement in solving this, please call ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) at (888) 283-8477 or the FBI at (800) 225-5324. HBCU Nation, please continue remain strong, safe, and aware of all of your surroundings during this unforeseen times.”

“I am calling for all HBCU advocates of NAACP, UNCF, TMCF, HBCU Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus to come together in urging an end to such crime and challenge the FBI for further investigation.”


Students participating in NASA’s MITTIC Challenge showcase their spinoff technology concepts in a poster session at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Credits: NASA.

NASA and the Department of Education are collaborating to enhance the federal Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholar Recognition Program using NASA entrepreneurial expertise.

Beginning in 2022, a NASA pitch competition for students at higher education institutions will officially become part of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, part of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity. The competition will be a small-scale version of NASA’s Minority University Education and Research Program (MUREP) Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC).

“NASA is excited to formalize our participation and see the innovated ideas HBCU scholars will bring to the competition.” said MUREP manager Torry Johnson. “Since 2018, MITTIC has provided students at Minority Serving Institutions a glimpse into NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and a unique opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial interests using NASA’s technology portfolio.”

Through this “mini MITTIC” pitch competition, teams of HBCU scholars will investigate selected NASA intellectual properties for potential uses in the commercial sector. The teams will work closely with NASA’s MITTIC team and subject matter experts while creating “Space Tank” pitches to explain the commercial viability of their proposed ideas.

NASA has a long history of facilitating the transformation of its technologies into commercial products and services. NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, managed by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, the agency’s headquarters in Washington, ensures that the innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.

Through the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity annually recognizes students from HBCUs for their accomplishments in academics, leaderships, and civic engagement. Over the course of an academic school year, HBCU scholars participate in professional development through monthly classes and have access to a network of public and private partners.

Partnerships, such as the White House initiative’s work with NASA, have helped increase participation in and awareness of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program.

“Our relationship with NASA validates the Biden-Harris Administration’s and the initiative’s commitment to enhancing STEM in the HBCU space,” said Arthur McMahan, senior associate director for the initiative. “This opportunity provides our outstanding HBCU Scholars with the tools and experiences needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy and beyond.”

Through their relationship with NASA, community-based organizations, and other public and private partners, HBCU scholars will also share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

The 2022 HBCU scholar application is expected to be released Jan. 11, 2022. The initiative will provide more information about the activities of the HBCU scholars on its website. HBCU scholars will begin working with NASA as soon as they are accepted into the recognition program and present their team pitches during the Annual National HBCU Week Conference in September.

For more on the Space Technology Mission Directorate and NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, visit https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/index.html.


Dear Supporters,

We are needing your help. Our charge at HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is to work tirelessly to assist students and higher education. Thank you for your unwavering support throughout the years of our organization’s existence; we were able to make dreams come true. Furthermore, as we continue our mission to remain strong advocates for students and HBCUs, we would like your continued support to become an HBCU Campaign Fund donor in helping us in the longevity fight in strengthening the HBCU space.

Our mission is to fundraise a goal of $50,000 while instituting initiative programming and partnerships in support of HBCUs and their communities. We’ll accomplish those goals by providing scholarships, endowments and enhancing the significance of those who our organization supports.

Our fundraising campaigns focus on raising funding for students who have financial needs to continue their college education or assist the organization with the necessary financing for providing initiative programming to students and HBCUs. Your contribution is critical and beneficial to many individuals supported through HCF who fall short financially. Our goal is to assist as many individuals in need and ensure that they accomplish their dreams.

We are calling on all HBCU alumni, friends, affinity groups, and education supporters to help us support students going to college and keep them in college by supporting the HBCU Campaign Fund with a generous gift to continue the proposed dreamed mission.

If you would like to become a donor, you can make an online donation at www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate. You may donate directly below or mail to HBCU Campaign Fund, 12558 S. Princeton Ave, Chicago, IL 60628-7225. Your donation will provide access to the key of education for many students who are achieving their goals to success. We Are HBCUs.

Yours Sincerely,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President and CEO
HBCU Campaign Fund

The Baltimore Ravens will honor former longtime general manager and Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome by making a $4 million gift in his name to Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The donation from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife, Renee, will create the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, which will fund scholarships for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates who attend an HBCU in Maryland.

“The brilliance of Ozzie Newsome extends far beyond his accolades as a player and executive,” said Bisciotti in a statement. “Throughout his entire life, Ozzie has inspired and uplifted everyone around him with his leadership, humility and determination. We hope that Ozzie’s example will inspire each of the Newsome scholars.”

Each of Maryland’s four HBCUs — Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — will receive a $1 million gift as part of the program. Yearly, each of the four schools will select five City Schools’ graduates as Ozzie Newsome Scholar recipients for its incoming freshman class.

Ozzie Newsome

“I am humbled and honored that Steve and Renee Bisciotti chose to associate my name with this tremendously important scholarship,” said Newsome in a statement. “This program will give many local graduates the ability to continue their education, and in turn will equip them with the necessary tools to make meaningful impact in the Baltimore community and beyond. Thee students will further their education through Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is especially meaningful to me. I look forward to watching the progress made through this scholarship program.”

Scholars will receive an annual college scholarship of $10,000 for up to five years of college, for a total investment of up to $50,000 per scholar.

“We embrace the responsibility of discovering ways to strengthen educational opportunities for the youth of Baltimore City,” stated Bisciotti. “Any positive impact that can be made to help students – especially in the pursuit of a college education and their career goals – only strengthens our community as a whole. The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program has the added benefit of providing scholarships funds for Maryland’s four HBCUs, which have served Maryland and Baltimore City so well for many years.”