UNCF National Interfaith and Education Campaign Makes a Mark for HBCU Students Across the Nation

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org

Seeking the faithful on UNCF Sunday, Feb. 27 to ensure HBCUs remain viable during the pandemic and deserving students have the funds to get to and through college


As Black History Month begins, February pushes forward as a particularly busy time for the African American community. UNCF harkens back to its historical roots through a very important months-long local fundraising campaign that culminates in February—UNCF Sunday— bringing awareness to what really started it all for the organization: the church.

“What many don’t realize is that nearly all of today’s historically Black colleges and universities—our wonderful HBCUs—whether they’re part of UNCF or are now state-funded HBCUs, were started as missions of the church,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “They began as teaching schools to help freed Black men and women and escaped slaves to learn how to read and write and give them the basic skills to get ahead in life. That is why, even today, our HBCUs are precious, vital resources that continue to deliver on their mission, supporting those that need education and help them succeed and even the playing field.”

national faith initiative logo 2021Throughout the year, UNCF works with churches and faith groups across the country to implement UNCF Sundays, a day of financial support to HBCUs from congregations, culminating on a specific Sunday in February. This year’s UNCF Sunday is Feb. 27.

“There may not have been a greater success story than the story of our HBCUs in this country providing education for those who might not have had an opportunity for it, providing education for those receiving it for the first generation, making it possible to find a way out of no way. Stand up to emancipate the mind and to participate in making this a better world for all. That is the work of our historically Black colleges and universities,” said Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church.

Here are members of the UNCF National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council:

  • Yolanda Adams, Award-winning Gospel Artist and Education Advocate
  • Dr. Carlton P. Byrd, President, Southwest Regional Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
  • Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr., Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic Church
  • Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
  • John C. Dorhauer, General Minister & President, United Church of Christ
  • Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Church, Decatur, GA
  • Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston
  • David Peoples, President, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
  • Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ
  • Bishop Darryl B. Starnes Sr., Piedmont District, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • Bishop Joseph W. Walker III, Presiding Bishop, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Int’l
  • Dr. LaKeesha Walrond, President, New York Theological Seminary
  • Alyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia
  • Howard-John Wesley, Senior Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA
  • Jerry Young, President, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.

To learn more about UNCF Sunday, visit UNCF.org/FaithCampaign.



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, supports and strengthens its 37 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 nearly 20% 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 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.