Delaware Valley Women of Faith Build a Bridge Toward Quality Education

Suzan Johnson Cook, former U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom, serves as keynote speaker

The Philadelphia office of UNCF hosted its third annual Delaware Valley Women of Faith for Education Afternoon Tea on February 16 at the Hilton Hotel at Penn’s Landing. Honoring women from the Delaware Valley who are passionate about securing better futures, the event connected generations through education. Former U.S. Ambassador for international religious freedom Suzan Johnson Cook served as keynote speaker.

Close to 300 religious affiliates, business leaders and community influencers attended, including event emcee Patty Jackson of WDAS 105.3. The event featured a student testimonial by UNCF Gates Millennium and Villanova University presidential scholar Jasmine May, who shared her family’s journey from being homeless to her being a successful student because of UNCF’s investment.

Gates Millenium Scholar Jasmine May
Gates Millenium Scholar Jasmine May

“True gratitude cannot be expressed by even the most well-versed scholar; I believe it can only be expressed by actions,” said May. “Words cannot even begin to explain how fortunate I am to have received such a tremendous gift that has ultimately changed my life for the better.”

With the diligent support of the community, including co-chairs Ellyn Jo Walker of Enon Tabernacle Baptist church, Camellia L. Shaw of White Rock Baptist church, Pauline M. Moore of Tenth Memorial Baptist church, Dr. Cleo Townsend of Resurrection Center and Paula Hargrove of Christ Care Unit Missionary Baptist Church, UNCF Philadelphia raised $102,000 to date. Additional funding was raised by the appeal during the event.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Cedric Napoleon, one of the founding members of the R&B and jazz group Pieces of a Dream. Guests won door prizes and a participated in a red carpet “Parade of Crowns” competition, which showcased beautiful women and their crowns of glory.

“I honored my mother by wearing her favorite hat to this lovely afternoon tea,” said Andrea Neely, regional development director, UNCF.

To view images from the event, please 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 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 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.