Jacksonville Leaders to Help Raise Funding for HBCUs, Area Students at Annual UNCF Leaders’ Luncheon

Civil rights activist and award-winning journalist Charlyne Hunter-Gault to serve as keynote speaker; philanthropist and former NFL player Drayton Florence will receive the “Champion of Education” award


Cynetra McMillian
UNCF Communications


JACKSONVILLE, FL—UNCF Orlando will host its 13th annual leaders’ luncheon Dec. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, beginning at 12 p.m. Benefiting HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and their students, UNCF is changing the narrative of HBCUs across the nation by equipping African American and other students of color with the resources necessary to successfully navigate college, and ultimately, the workforce. More than 400 people will attend the luncheon, including; civil rights icon and Peabody award-winning journalist, Charlyne Hunter-Gault; “Champion of Education” honoree, Drayton Florence; president of UNCF-member HBCU Edward Waters College, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr.; Jacksonville’s community and international affairs director, Dr. Charles Moreland, and many more.

With the help of the Jacksonville community, $5,776,352 was awarded last year in scholarships and programs for UNCF’s Florida member institutions and area students. And with the release of UNCF’s landmark study, HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCUs such as Edward Waters College contributed $833 million to the total economic impact and more than 7,817 jobs to the state of Florida.

“Events such as the Jacksonville Leadership Luncheon, stress the importance of HBCUs,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “HBCUs not only provide a college education for 300,000 students every year, but they are a powerful economic engine: locally, through the jobs they create and the expenditures they make in the cities where they are located; and nationally, through the students they educate and prepare for an information-age workforce.”

The Leaders’ Luncheon program will include performances by the Edward Waters College Jazz Combo and a student testimonial from Jacksonville native and Wells Fargo/UNCF scholarship recipient Alexis Lawrence, a junior at Stetson University.

The Jacksonville Leadership Luncheon is chaired by Walette Sanford, who is also the chair of the Jacksonville Leadership Council. Luncheon sponsors include AT&T, Wells Fargo, Publix and many others.





About UNCF

UNCF (the 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 17 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 1,100 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 UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.