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HBCU Empower Me Tour Launches

 FAIRFAX, VA. -- UNCF–the United Negro College Fund–the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, will launch its 2010-2011 UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour onSaturday, October 2, 2010 at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Targeting students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority high school students, and middle school students and their parents, the tour will inspire and motivate youth to empower themselves through career and college readiness seminars, personal development workshops and subject-matter expert and celebrity panel discussions.  The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour will be hosted by actress Tatyana Ali, and will feature such well-known personalities as actor Malik YobaKita Williams and Monique Jackson of VH1's "The T.O. Show," Comedian and TV host Kim Coles, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Ledisi, Comedian, and International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sheryl Underwood, musicians Daniel Moore andTed Winn, attorney and radio personality Warren Ballentine, youth advocate and radio personality Jeff Johnson and more.

The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour will focus on six areas: financial education, entrepreneurship, career readiness, health and wellness, college readiness and service and philanthropy. Students will learn how they can play active roles in their communities and how they can prepare to go to-and-thru- college.  Numerous celebrity speakers, entertainers, athletes, business and political leaders and education advocates will host workshops and participate in panel discussions throughout the day.

"The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour underscores the importance of college and career readiness, as well as service to communities and the country, which is a long tradition and critical component of an HBCU education," said Michael L. Lomax Ph. D., UNCF president and CEO.  "UNCF is committed to helping ensure that every child gets a good education from pre-school thru college empowering them to become the next generation of good citizens and effective leaders."  

The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour event at Hampton University marks the kick-off of the third year of the Tour, which is produced by UNCF in partnership with Wells Fargo. The Tour will visit five HBCU campuses, the UNCF National Alumni Council conference in Birmingham, Alabama and more than five additional colleges and universities and major cities throughout the country, concluding in Washington, D.C.  Hampton University attendees will be able to participate in numerous informative workshops and visit The Empower Me Tour Zone- an interactive experience for middle school, high school and college students, providing them an opportunity to meet with corporate recruiters, learn about volunteer and internship opportunities, available scholarships, receive fashion makeovers, enter contests like "The Next Campus CEO" and win prizes.  Students will also have the opportunity to be featured on Empower Me TV, hosted and produced by Malik Yoba, which will be posted on the UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour website,  There will be interactive gaming stations on fitness and financial literacy, etiquette sessions, film screenings and live entertainment from celebrity DJ ShoGun.  Chef Kevin Sbraga Season 7 winner of Bravo's Top Chef will host a "Healthy Kitchen, Healthy You" demonstration series in the Tour Zone, joined by Kita Williams and Monique Jackson of VH1's "The T.O. Show," who will demonstrate the Diva Wrap, the latest product in their new beauty line, Pretty by Kita and Mo.

Chris Cooper, Author and President and CEO of Execute Your Passion will lead a workshop entitled, "Get the Job You Want Now! A Collegiate Guide to Power Interviewing."  Tina Hayes, Founder and Owner of The School of Etiquette and Decorum will host a workshop series to help students transition from high school to adulthood, "Prepare Me for The Real World."  Trent T. Daniel, Entrepreneurial Greatness Trainer and author will host a workshop entitled "When Excellence Is Possible...Good Just Won't Do!".  

Additionally, Wells Fargo will present a workshop focused on "Managing Your Credit" and will highlight basic savings, budgeting, and personal finance skills as well as careers in financial services. Other workshop and panel discussions include "Getting Into and Paying For College" and "Myths of Dating Violence," as well as discussions focused on black males, "Ties vs. Timbs" featuring Dr. John Jackson, President of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, James Harris of Usher's New Look Foundation and Michael J. Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College.  Additionally,  Kita Williams and Monique Jackson as well as Stacey McBride-Irby, Designer of the So In Style™ black Barbie doll line will lead a discussion with black females entitled "Girl Talk: Define Your Pretty."

A robust celebrity panel discussion will focus on, "Gettin' Rich & Keepin' It Real." This interactive panel will provide practical advice for young people on how to pursue their goals, while avoiding common pitfalls. The panel will be moderated by Trent T. Daniel, entrepreneurial greatness trainer and author, and will include actress and TV host Tatyana Ali, Comedian and TV hostKim Coles, actor and director Malik Yoba and Co-Executive Producers and stars of VH1's #1 reality show "The T.O. Show," Kita Williams and Monique Jackson.

"Education is the common equalizer," said Ali.  "It is critical for every child to get a good education so that they can  build stronger communities and help build a stronger America.  An education is one of the most powerful investments we can make."

Sponsors and UNCF Strategic Partners include Wells Fargo, FedEx, Burger King, the U.S. Army, the American Cancer Society, Essence Magazine, CNN, Usher's New Look Foundation, HBCU Connect, National Urban League, the Chris Draft Family Foundation and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.  

About 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 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 18 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."


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