Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Joi Ridley
UNCF Communications



Inspiring youth to excel in academic, financial and personal responsibility;
Highlighting community efforts to get students to and through college

WASHINGTON D.C. (September 10, 2013) - The UNCF Empower Me Tour (EMT) Presented by Wells Fargo- a free, traveling college-and career-readiness road show sponsored by UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the country's largest and most effective minority education organization - will bring entertainers, community activists and educational partners to various Tour stops nationwide.

Now in its sixth year, the EMT, a partnership between UNCF and Wells Fargo, was created to empower a movement committed to developing a robust college-going culture among African American and other students of color. That movement fosters academic excellence, personal responsibility and fiscal health, preparing students to go to and through college while inspiring them to make education the foundation of their goals and dreams. Wells Fargo is the presenting Sponsor of the UNCF Empower Me Tour.

"The UNCF Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo gives students and parents tools they need to prepare for college success and for their careers and life after college, all delivered by celebrities, educators, and entrepreneurs who know how to communicate with young people," said Michael L. Lomax Ph. D., UNCF president and CEO. "Because a lot of the preparation students need is about financial management and responsibility, we are excited to be celebrating the UNCF Empower Me Tour's sixth anniversary with our partners at Wells Fargo, one of the country's great financial institutions and an Empower Me Tour sponsor from the beginning. Together, UNCF and Wells Fargo want to make sure that every child gets the education and preparation they need to have successful, secure financial futures and become the college-educated professionals, good citizens and effective leaders."

"At Wells Fargo, we know that education is a great equalizer in our country and are committed to making sure all students have access to higher education," said Gigi Dixon, senior vice president and director of National Partnerships for Wells Fargo. "Our support of the UNCF Empower Me Tour over the past six years has made the possibility of college real for so many across the nation. We are proud to work with the UNCF to provide children and young adults with information, tools and resources to help them make smart and informed decisions about their future."

Attendees of the EMT participate in workshops, panel discussions, and the Empower Me Tour Zone - an interactive experience for students, parents, and educators that includes opportunities to meet with college recruiters, attend a resume-building session, and learn about financial literacy, college readiness, scholarship and internship opportunities. In addition to this year's hosts, an array of celebrities, educators and entrepreneurs will share their personal educational journeys with participating middle school, high school and college students. This year's speakers and workshop leaders include music executive Amir Windom, beauty journalist and editor Tai Beauchamp, and motivational speaker Dr. Alex O. Ellis. Prior Tour guests and panelists include actors Hill Harper and Tatyana Ali, journalist and social activist Jeff Johnson, and Dr. Randal Pinkett, winner of the fourth season of NBC's The Apprentice with Donald Trump.

"I'm excited to participate in the UNCF Empower Me Tour and to help celebrate its sixth anniversary," said co-host and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Ledisi, who serves as co-host of this year's Tour. "Every year it's amazing to meet students and to share my experiences with them and help to motivate them to use education to build the kind of future they want and we all want for them. No one does more than UNCF to help students go to and through college so they can start families and launch careers. I am thrilled to be able to play my part in the great work they do."

The 2013 Empower Me Tour will also feature musician, author and lifestyle entertainer Fonzworth Bentley as Tour co-host. "I am the fourth generation in my family to graduate from one of the 37 UNCF member institutions," Bentley said. "Therefore, this is a very special honor for me to represent the values and goals of an organization that has given so much to not only the success of my family, but for thousands of families throughout this country and the world."

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, Supporting Sponsors of the UNCF Empower Me Tour include: Procter & Gamble, FedEx, US Marine Corps, US Army, and American Airlines. Education Partners: Education Is Freedom, US Department of Education Federal Student Aid, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, City Year, Inc. and Teach For America.

UNCF Empower Me Tour Presented By Wells Fargo - 2013-2014 Tour Schedule
St. Louis, MO
New Orleans, LA
Dallas, TX
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Washington, DC
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Detroit, MI
Atlanta, GA
Memphis, TN
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
June 16-21, 2013
July 4-6, 2013
August 29-31, 2013
September 14, 2013
October 1, 2013
October 19, 2013
October 20, 2013
November 16, 2013
January 25, 2014
February 15, 2014
March 1, 2014

For more information on the tour and to register for FREE, visit

About UNCF
UNCF (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 38 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness.  UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 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."®: Learn more at

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank's customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune's 2013 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially.  Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at