New York UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala Returns in-person Format, Supporting HBCUs and their Students

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231

Byron Pitts, Dr. Michael Lomax and the cast of “Ain’t Too Proud” join UNCF to honor Citi, MetLife and Kim Godwin for advancing educational opportunity for young people of color


After three years, the New York UNCF  “A Mind Is…” Gala is returning to an in-person event on Thursday, March 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cipriani 42nd Street to raise funds for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and students of color seeking a higher education. Nearly 400 guests, including business and community leaders, are expected to attend.

The New York UNCF local office will present the Legacy Partner Award to MetLife, accepted by Michel Khalaf, president and CEO; its Corporate Partner Award to Citi, accepted by Brandee McHale, head of community investing and development at Citi and president of Citi Foundation; and its Leadership Award to Kim Godwin, president, ABC News.

Proceeds from the gala will benefit talented and deserving students across New York and the United States who lack the financial support to get to and through college, as well as UNCF’s 37 member HBCUs.

“Historically Black colleges and universities have never been more important to the nation’s economic growth. HBCUs are major engines of Black social and economic mobility and the prosperity of state and local communities. Yet, they remain systemically underfunded,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “I encourage you to support UNCF so together we can invest in and build future generations of Black college graduates who will help lead this nation and contribute to our economy. Events like the New York UNCF ‘A Mind Is…’ Gala help us do just that.”

Byron Pitts, co-anchor, ABC News “Nightline,” will serve as host for the evening. The cast of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” will provide the event’s entertainment.

Current sponsors include platinum sponsors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citi and MetLife; gold sponsors, BNY Mellon and Spotify; and silver sponsors, BlackRock, BNP Paribas, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Debevoise & Plimpton, Dentons, Moody’s, Paramount, PepsiCo, Taylor, Wells Fargo and Zelis.

Diego Aviles, vice president for development, Northeast, UNCF, said, “We are delighted to be able to gather again in person to help uplift our nation’s HBCUs and ensure more African American students have the necessary funding to achieve degree completion. We are grateful to have the opportunity to recognize MetLife, Citi and Kim Godwin for serving as essential partners in our important work to create better futures for all.”

To learn more, register for the event or donate, please visit or contact Warren Williams at


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.