Building a Pipeline of Change: Our 76 Years of Success Have Made a Difference for So Many and Many Yet to Come
Welcome to UNCF’s 2020 fiscal year Annual Report.
Seventy-six years of success. Seventy-six years of impact. Seventy-six years of lives tremendously changed. Seventy-six years of endowing America with talented young people who otherwise would not have been able to share their gifts with us unless you and your support of UNCF had not made it possible.
We write this letter, amazingly enough, on the heels of our most successful years ever, our 75th anniversary, which has rung in yet another amazing journey for us—our 76th year. Success thankfully begets success, as we are now able tell the story of major new opportunities that have continued to open up for our organization, such as the “Panda Cares Foundation Expands its UNCF Footprint.”
Greg Cunningham, one of our newest UNCF Board of Directors members, is featured in this edition of the Annual Report. His story, “Why I Support UNCF,” is a pull-‘em-up-by-the-bootstraps-tale, describing how he started from being a UNCF scholarship recipient and student attending UNCF-member HBCU Clark Atlanta University, to being a UNCF staff member, to being a UNCF volunteer and fundraiser, to now sitting as a member of the UNCF Board of Directors. Why has he stuck with us and shown us such love? He says it’s because “Receiving a scholarship from UNCF and attending an HBCU was just a validation of self-worth and what was possible when you’re in a community that is culturally validating.”
This year, UNCF also actively led, managed and secured permanent funding of federal STEM programs for HBCUs by Congress through the FUTURE Act: “Seeing the FUTURE and Making it Pass.” And UNCF research provides K-12 schools insights on how to teach Black and Brown children through the lessons they’ve gleaned from years they’ve been teaching college students: “New Report Helps Pass on HBCU Wisdom to Empower Student Success across K-12 Grades.”
Our 76 years of success wouldn’t be possible without the support of the many donors and supporters, big and small who really put their belief in us to work. At 92-years-young and “Nearly 50 Years’ A Volunteer,” former Indianapolis WRTV anchorwoman Barbara Boyd is still actively working to raise funds for our students and HBCUs. Supporters like Oprah Winfrey made a smashing impression by doubling the donations from the UNCF Charlotte Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon (“Making an Impact No One Will Forget”); Toi Salter, a Chicago volunteer, single-handedly used her connections to bring in more than $1 million in donations (“A Million Dollars and More Through the Power of One”); and Reboot Representation Tech Coalition, a group that partnered with UNCF to begin a large, new, Black woman-focused computer programming scholarship and mentorship program (“Black Females Moving Forward in Computing Program Launched”), are some of the many who change lives everyday through their support of UNCF.
Generous support from private individuals, corporations, foundations, churches and other groups, both financial and otherwise, has fueled these stories we report now. Your belief in us has shaped our organization’s trajectory, making it so that we have had yet another successful year to report to you, our friends, believers and donors. As you read through the articles within this Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report, know that the investment of your time, talent and treasure is well-placed in us and valued because we are using all of it to develop the next generation of diverse American college-educated talent to lead us all to better futures.
Whether you’ve invested in UNCF’s schools and students for years, or this is the first time you’re considering helping us send talented, deserving students to and through college, let our 76 years of success inspire you to make our indelible motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”®, your own.