For almost eight decades, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and the faith community have partnered together. On Feb. 26, hundreds of churches and congregations around the country will collect special donations to support UNCF and students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
“What many don’t realize is that nearly all of today’s historically Black colleges and universities—our wonderful HBCUs—whether they’re part of UNCF or are now state-funded HBCUs, were started as missions of the church,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “They began as teaching schools to help freed Black men and women and escaped slaves to learn how to read and write and give them the basic skills to get ahead in life. That is why, even today, our HBCUs are precious, vital resources that continue to deliver on their mission, supporting those that need education and help them succeed and even the playing field.”
Throughout the year, UNCF works with churches and faith groups across the country to conduct UNCF Sundays, a day of financial support to HBCUs from congregations, culminating on a specific Sunday in February. This year’s UNCF Sunday is Feb. 26.
“The legacy of HBCUs and the church to this day remains stronger than ever as we support deserving students to get to and through college,” said UNCF’s National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council Chairman Dr. Howard-John Wesley, senior pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA. “The work of this council is to ensure this historical bond will never be broken.”
Members of UNCF’s National Faith and Education Initiative Advisory Council are located across the United States:
- Yolanda Adams, Award-winning Gospel Artist and Education Advocate
- Rev. Dr. Carlton P. Byrd, President, Southwest Regional Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
- Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr., Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic Church
- Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
- Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister & President, United Church of Christ
- Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Church, Decatur, GA
- Rev. Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston
- Rev. David Peoples, President, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
- Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ
- Bishop Darryl B. Starnes Sr., Piedmont District, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
- Bishop Joseph W. Walker III, Presiding Bishop, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Int’l
- Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond, President, New York Theological Seminary
- Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia
- Dr. Howard-John Wesley, Senior Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA
- Dr. Jerry Young, President, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.