Facebook and The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation have partnered to support the 16th Annual Alfred Street Baptist Church’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) College Festival (Festival). The 2018 Festival will take place on Saturday, February 10 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Since 2003, because of the Alfred Street Baptist Church and their Foundations’ commitment to higher education for African American youths, the HBCU College Festival has connected more than 25,000 students and their parents to academic institutions. Many of the students are first-generation college students. During the past 15 Festivals, participating HBCUs have awarded more than $6 million to Festival attendees in the form of academic scholarships and/or waived fees.
“Historically, the success of the Festival has been dependent on the financial support of our parishioners and volunteers. Since our Festival is a national event, our Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation sought out a national partner with a global identity, interest and commitment in education, and a model diversity plan,” said Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, Alfred Street’s pastor.
“We are pleased and excited to have Facebook as a partner as we host the HBCU College Festival,” said Calvin Minor, Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation President. “We have a long history of providing scholarship funds to deserving students from the Washington Metropolitan Area. Having Facebook as a partner enhances our efforts to produce a first-rate event and garner additional scholarship funds.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the Foundation to invest in the next generation of leaders,” said Rachel Peterson, Facebook’s Director of Data Center Strategy. “Facebook invests in physical infrastructure across the country, but we are also investing in the social infrastructure of our communities. We are proud to have facilities in so many states that are home to HBCUs, and hope that students look for opportunities with Facebook when the time comes.”
“Historically black colleges and universities are vital to the fabric of America, helping ensure equal access to the American dream and educating some of the country’s greatest minds, including generations of African-American pioneers, leaders, and professionals,” said Reginald B. McKnight, Facebook’s Head of U.S. Infrastructure Public Policy. “At Facebook, we are committed to making sure that the next generation of great minds can flourish. We are proud to stand with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation, these amazing young people and our nation’s HBCUs as a partner and a champion for opportunity and access in higher education.”
As a Festival partner, Facebook will have an opportunity to serve on the Festival Planning Committee, exhibit at the Festival, plan and conduct workshops, and network with students and parents and conduct other partnership activities.
In announcing the partnership, Pastor Wesley said, “While Facebook is a high-tech company, it is also committed to education and diversity. Their diversity strategy calls for training women and underserved populations for employment in the tech sector and assembling a workforce that looks like the population. Therefore, it is evident that Facebook shares some of the same social responsibility and values as Alfred Street and our Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation. That is one of the reasons we are elated that Alfred Street and Facebook will be joining forces to support our HBCUs through our College Festival.”
About Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation: The Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) Foundation is a non-profit organization that is recognized as such under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code. The foundation provides academic scholarships to select graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated a financial need and have maintained high academic performance. Since its first awards in 2007, the foundation has awarded over $950,000 to local area students. For school year 2016, the foundation has awarded more than $140,000 in scholarships. These awards included 30 new scholarships and renewals for 10 existing students.
About the HBCU College Festival: The HBCU College festival is a premier event that connects students and parents to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Arguably the largest Free HBCU College Fair in the United States, this 2018 event expects to host over 8,000 students, parents, college officials and volunteers.