Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley New Chair of National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council to Support HBCUs

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Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231

UNCF today announced Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley as chairman of its National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council. Wesley is senior pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA.

“We are delighted that Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley has agreed to serve as chairman of UNCF’s National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council. He is an exciting, gifted and anointed pastor who brings a wealth of energy and enthusiasm to lead the work of the advisory council to support UNCF as we increase the capacity of our member schools and other HBCUs to help their students to become our future leaders,” said Maurice E. Jenkins, Jr., executive vice president and chief development officer, UNCF.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve as chairman of UNCF’s National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council. The mission of the council is to support the great work of our HBCUs through UNCF because a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” said Wesley.

Since 1944, UNCF and the faith community have invested in each other. Churches and other places of worship around the country have helped historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) keep their doors open and their dedication to education strong. And UNCF has reached out around the country to raise the funds their students need to become the next generation of ministers and church-supporting congregants.

Throughout the year, UNCF works with churches and faith groups across the country to implement UNCF Sundays, a day of national support to HBCUs from congregations, culminating on a specific Sunday in February.

The UNCF National Faith and Education Initiative is an effort to broaden awareness of our core vision and mission across denominations, secure unrestricted financial support to help strengthen our member colleges and universities, strengthen student support and development, and through our advocacy platform help ensure the visibility and viability of UNCF-member schools and other HBCUs. It is supported by a broad spectrum of religious leaders who have committed to work in support of educational opportunities for UNCF students, known as the National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council.

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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. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 13% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 24% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. 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.