The UNCF’s An Evening of Stars may be a star-studded event, but there’s a message behind the glamour.
Originally aired in 1979, the UNCF An Evening of Stars telecast has raised more than $200 million to help hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. This year the event, premiering on Sept. 25th at 10 p.m. on BET, will highlight personal testimonies of success by UNCF students and performances by Erykah Badu and legendary songstress Patti LaBelle, to name a few. Through all the high energy performances and A-list appearances, however, the organization, in conjunction with partner BET, is hoping that the event accomplishes one main goal: to raise funds for minority students in need.
“In this economy, one of the most immediate needs of students is financial—helping students pay the costs of going to college, giving them the support they need to start that journey and finish it,” UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. tells BET.com. “UNCF An Evening of Stars gets the message about the importance of education out to millions of American households, and introduces them to the work of UNCF.”
Currently through scholarships and other programs, the UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. At this year’s event the organization tries to combine the “hottest talent”, including Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, Marsha Ambrosius, Miguel, Pooch Hall and Tatyana Ali, with inspirational stories of young students who are beating the odds in their communities and society.
During the telecast, BET and UNCF are encouraging viewers to visit BET.com/UNCF or text "UNCF" to 50555 to donate to the educational advancement of African-American students.
“We want viewers to help us to continue to help young people get the education and support they need to build careers and give back to the community and ultimately our country,” Lomax says. “They will also get the opportunity to learn the importance of ensuring middle schoolers and high schoolers are on track to be college ready. Additionally, they will see how our HBCUs are getting young men and women ready to become the next generation of leaders of our nation.”
To learn more about this year’s event visit here.
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(Photo: Tami Chappell / Reuters)