Fairfax, Va. –Churches across the nation will host a UNCF SUNDAY on February 28 to call for contributions to the United Negro College Fund. The UNCF the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, to help kids earn a college education. UNCF’s new National Faith Initiative aims to engage and encourage the faith community to support UNCF, minority students, and the 39 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that are members of UNCF, and to build a robust network of informed advocates for minority education.
“The faith community has always been there for UNCF, its students, and its member colleges,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. “Today, when a college education is more important than ever, families look to UNCF for the support they need to help their sons and daughters go to college, and UNCF looks once again to the faith community. UNCF’s National Faith Initiative is an opportunity for us to come together and work together to help our children and strengthen our community.”
The Faith Initiative urges church leaders to help UNCF raise the resources that students need to pay the costs of going to college and that UNCF HBCUs need to give young men and women the education they need and deserve. For many students at UNCF member institutions, the primary barrier to getting a college education is financial; 92 percent of UNCF students, for example, qualify for need-based financial aid. Without the support of the faith community in these tough economic times, increased unemployment, a decline in charitable giving and a decline in scholarship money will ultimately impact enrollment and low-income students’ ability to stay in school.
The Faith Campaign’s Advisory Council is comprised of renowned faith leaders including Bishop Eddie Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist in Lithonia, Georgia; Bishop Courtney McBath, Calvary Revival Church in Norfolk, VA; Rev. Floyd Flake Sr., Pastor of Allen AME Cathedral of New York and former president of UNCF member institution Wilberforce University; Dr. Lawrence E. Carter Sr., the first dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and the Chapel Dean at UNCF member institution Morehouse College; Pastor Samuel Ross-Lee, Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church, New Haven CT and Mr. William Owens, Coalition of African American Pastors.
More than 50 percent of the students at UNCF colleges are the first in their families to attend college. Faith Initiative participants are encouraged to partner with UNCF regional directors to promote events, provide scholarship information sessions for college-bound young people, and help UNCF schools build enrollment. The UNCF National Faith initiative is a celebration of collaboration and generosity from the faith community to support HBCUs and minority education through UNCF.
Churches can also demonstrate their commitment to helping UNCF, its students and colleges by participating in Star Power, UNCF’s An Evening of Stars ® (AEOS) online campaign, which ends on March 31st. Star Power invites churches and other supporters to join regional teams to help UNCF raise awareness for minority education and raise funds to help students go to college. All donors are encouraged to post the Star Power link on their Facebook and MySpace pages. To learn more, visit www.UNCF.org and click on the STAR POWER icon or visit www.AnEveningofStars.org.
For more information about the UNCF National Faith Initiative, and to view UNCF’s Honor Roll of faith partners visit www.uncf.org and click on churches, or contact Christal Cherry, UNCF National Director, Groups, Alumni & Faith Partnerships, at 404-302-8623 or via email at [email protected]