FAIRFAX, VA -- UNCF– the United Negro College Fund – the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, is rallying with churches to support its National Faith Initiative. Churches will host a UNCF SUNDAY on February 27 to collect donations from congregations across the nation to help kids get the education they need and our nation needs them to have. The campaign aims to engage and encourage the faith community to support UNCF, minority students, and the 39 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that belong to UNCF, and to build a robust network of informed advocates for minority education.
"Private HBCUs those that are members of UNCF were founded by religious denominations and maintain affiliations with churches still today," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. "Churches' investment in black education pays dividends not only to the young men and women for whom education is the foundation on which they can build better lives but to the communities in which students settle and begin their families. The UNCF National Faith Initiative is an opportunity for us to come together and work to ensure that every child gets a good education, which is the force that continues to impact and transform our community and our nation."
With a workforce that will soon be majority-minority, HBCUs are critical in educating the next generation of America's teachers, scientists, and engineers. By reinvesting in HBCUs, the nation will have a better chance to thrive and to prosper. The UNCF Faith Campaign urges church leaders to help UNCF raise the resources that students need to pay the costs of going to college and that UNCF member-HBCUs need to give young men and women the education they need and deserve.
Sixty percent of the students who attend UNCF member institutions come from families with incomes under $30,000 and 94 percent of UNCF students need financial aid. As the recession lingers, many students at UNCF schools continue to find themselves in financially vulnerable positions.
The National Faith Initiative's Advisory Council is led by faith leaders that include Bishop B. Courtney McBath, Calvary Revival Church, Norfolk, VA; Bishop Edgar L. Vann, Second Ebenezer Church, Detroit, MI; Rev. Christopher A. Bullock, Canaan Baptist Church, New Castle, DE; Pastor Ralph D. West, The Church Without Walls, Houston, TX; Rev. Dr. Leonard N. Smith, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Arlington, VA ; Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Jr., Bethany Baptist Church, Newark, NJ and many others. In addition, UNCF has been inducted as a national partner by the Conference of National Black Churches chaired by Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson.
More than 50 percent of the students at UNCF colleges are the first in their families to attend college. Faith Campaign participants are encouraged to partner with UNCF regional directors to promote events, to provide scholarship information sessions for college-bound young people, and to help UNCF schools build enrollment and help students graduate from college. The UNCF National Faith Initiative is a celebration of collaboration and generosity from the faith community to support HBCUs and minority education through UNCF.
UNCF—the 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, strengthens its 39 private member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent 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 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."