UNCF New England to Host Virtual “A Mind Is…” Gala Supporting HBCUs and Students

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org

 Delivering impact to both HBCUs and their students, the fundraising event will honor those who are helping to advance educational opportunities for young people of color


The annual New England UNCF  “A Mind Is…” Gala is moving online this year, set for 7 p.m., Thursday, March 4. The virtual fundraising event will feature select speakers; awards presentations; music by Katani Sumner, a local performing artist; special guest appearances and a closing performance by Grammy® Award-nominated singer Kenny Lattimore. Proceeds will benefit talented and deserving students across New England and the United States who lack the financial support to get to and through college, as well as UNCF’s 37 member historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

This year’s honorees being recognized for helping to advance educational opportunities for African Americans include Duane Jackson, managing member at Alinea Capital Partner, LLC, and Deborah Jackson, president of Cambridge College receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award; CVS Health receiving the Corporate Partner Award; and Wellington Management receiving the Leadership Award.

The UNCF “A Mind Is…” New England Gala is open to the public. Corporations can participate as sponsors and individuals at various giving levels. “We want to ensure that anyone who wants to be a part of this celebration and make a difference in the life a young person can do so at a level that is meaningful to them,” said Diego Aviles, vice president of development, UNCF.

Ron Walker, interim director for UNCF New England’s office said, “As an HBCU Alum form Prairie View A&M, I know firsthand the powerful role that HBCUs can have in a person’s life. This gala, albeit virtual will be inspiring and raise vital funds for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and young people of color in our own New England area to reach their fullest potential.”

HBCU alumna Shayna Seymour, Emmy®-winning journalist and co-anchor of WCVB’s award-winning nightly newsmagazine “Chronicle” will join as the host for the evening. Seymour is an esteemed graduate of Spelman College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Current sponsors of the coming gala include presenting sponsors, Citizens Bank and Wellington Management; and gold sponsor, Eastern Bank.

“For more than 76 years, UNCF has fueled HBCUs with vital resources to educate generations of African American and other minority students,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “During an unprecedented time in our history compounded by COVID-19 and racial disparities, our students and institutions are faced with enormous challenges. We are at risk of washing away a generation of talented and deserving African American and minority students. We need as many donations as possible right now because the students we help today will be our next generation of doctors, nurses, biologists, virologists, epidemiologists—the pandemic frontliners of the future. We invite everyone in the New England area to join our virtual ‘A Mind Is…’ Gala to help ensure better futures for us all.”

To learn more, register for the event or donate, please visit UNCF.org/BostonGala or contact Diego Aviles at diego.aviles@uncf.org.


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