Bond & Play and UNCF Announce the ONE HBCU FEST Summit Series

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231


The ONE HBCU Fest is a groundbreaking series of ideas summits that showcases next-gen African American innovators and entrepreneurs, promoting HBCUs as engines of economic growth for building equity and wealth in the digital economy.


UNCF and Bond & Play are excited to announce a new partnership to create the ONE HBCU FEST—a series of mini virtual summits that will showcase the next generation of historically Black college or university (HBCU) leadership and African American visionaries and provide a forum where new ideas can be discussed in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, design thinking and tech-entrepreneurship, E-sports and gaming, financial tech (FinTech) and financial literacy and the business of music. UNCF is the “Official Education Partner” for the ONE HBCU FEST summits and will work with Bond & Play to identify thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs across HBCU campuses and from the Black community. Ebony Media— which recently announced the relaunch of Ebony and JET as digital platforms—will join Bond & Play as the official media partner for the ONE HBCU FEST.

bond and play logoOver the next several months, the 2021 ONE HBCU FEST will host a series of summits focused on different aspects of the digital economy. Each summit will promote the theme “We Are Stronger Together,” which serves as the rallying cry to for HBCUs as world-class institutions that will be the agents of change to create solutions aimed at transforming the world. Each month the series will host similar forums in various areas of business and technology—each offering a power-packed discussion with cutting-edge thinkers and doers. As a series of solution-oriented, informative and thought-provoking conversations, the ONE HBCU FEST summits will feature fireside chats, live Q&A and interactive panel discussions with a curated group of some of the most interesting minds across industries and sectors. The summits will also leverage the rich intellectual resources within the HBCU community and promote the idea of HBCUs as centers of excellence to address systemic issues (social, economic, technology, health, etc.) impacting HBCUs, alumni and the Black community.

The inaugural summit will be held virtually on Feb. 27 and will focus on illuminating pathways for success that link African Americans to career opportunities in the multibillion-dollar E-sports and video game industry.

“We believe the timing couldn’t be better to launch ONE HBCU FEST. It represents a unique opportunity to bring together the vanguard of HBCU and community thinkers, leaders and innovators. This series of events is tailored for convening HBCU students, alumni as well as thought leaders within the Black community and allies to exchange ideas, insights and thoughts on some of the most important topics impacting HBCUs and the Black community. We are living in an extraordinary time where serious issues and big challenges are facing Black communities and HBCUs from multiple perspectives. Our summits will engage the next generation of African American leaders and promote discussions about the future of the Black community. This is a platform that we believe is crafted for the moment and will amplify the power of ideas, information and conversation with the speed and scale of our culture, and inspire and motivate generations into collaborative action,” said Imari Oliver, founder and CEO of Bond & Play and ONE HBCU FEST.


“The ONE HBCU FEST is a groundbreaking opportunity for the HBCU community to showcase its intellectual power and ideas for solutions in various aspects of business and technology. HBCUs have been at the forefront of these discussions before and certainly have produced outstanding leaders in business and technology. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our leadership and offer insights for how the HBCU experience prepares next-gen African American entrepreneurial leaders across business and technology industry sectors. HBCUs are important catalysts for social change and engines for economic growth within the Black community, and the summits will help to further highlight the important role that HBCUs play for our community,” said Chad Womack, Ph.D., senior director, STEM programs and initiatives, UNCF.

“HBCUs have been an integral part of the rich History of Ebony and Jet. What an amazing opportunity to reconnect and support an event that highlights the importance of these institutions. We are a proud media partner of ONE HBCU FEST,” said Michele Thornton Ghee, CEO of  Ebony and Jet.

It’s time to collaborate, innovate and build. We look forward to you joining us on Feb. 27 at Registration is now open.


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 or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About Bond & Play: Bond & Play is a holding company for a portfolio of innovative products, platforms, business models and a strategy consultancy for the digital economy. Bond & Play companies reflect products and platform optimized for digital innovation, business growth and immersive digital experiences. Their portfolio includes Barnaby Station, a TechEd platform and Bond & Play Studios, an indie video game publishing studio.  The company has a bias towards action and has produced live conferences, strategy workshops, products and business transformation models for leading brands and executive leadership teams that understand the value of staying on the edge of culture.