Thursday, May 29, 2014

Joi Ridley


Syndication Airing Commemorates 70th Anniversary of UNCF's Founding and Marks 50 Years Since Signing of Landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964

Jill Scott, The Isley Brothers, Monica, Sevyn Streeter, Marsha Ambrosius, and August Alsina Perform
Also Featuring Usher, Trey Songz, and Cedric the Entertainer

Washington (May 29, 2014) - The 35th Annual UNCF An Evening of Stars® encore airing is scheduled for Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st (check local television listings for times).

"Our young people need a college education to compete in the 21st century economy. They deserve an education," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. "When someone invests their treasure, their time or their talent in UNCF, the return on that investment is measured not in cash, but in an educated student."

As one of the longest-running and most successful televised events in U.S. history, the program is rooted in providing scholarships to UNCF student achievers. This mission is amplified with the help of today's leading musicians and entertainers who lend their support to UNCF's mission of getting youth "to and through" college. The show features performances from Grammy-winning artists Jill Scott, the Isley Brothers, Monica, and Tye Tribbett, as well as chart-toppers Sevyn Streeter, August Alsina, Alice Smith, and Spoken Reasons. Superstars Usher, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg participate by making scholarship presentations to deserving students. Actor-comedian Anthony Anderson hosts the show for a second consecutive year.

"Hosting this show is personal for me. I received my education at an HBCU, and I received a scholarship that helped me realize my passion for acting," Anderson said. "I know firsthand how a life can be changed by education, and I know how important the work UNCF does can be."

This year's broadcast marks the 70th anniversary of UNCF, the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to help more than 400,000 students receive college degrees at UNCF-member institutions and with UNCF scholarships. UNCF plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college and get the education they need and that the nation needs them to have. Yet, the need for supporting these students remains.

"UNCF is doing a lot. But our kids need more and we want to give more," Lomax said. "For every scholarship we award, there are ten qualified applicants we cannot help. We need the college graduates that those ten could become. We need the teachers and scientists and engineers that they could be."

The UNCF An Evening of Stars broadcast presentsanopportunity for viewers to join legendary and present-day entertainers, musicians and activists who have made a priority of providing support for college-bound students. To do your part, dial 800-332-UNCF or text UNCF to 50555.

The May airing of UNCF An Evening of Stars also highlights the semicentennial of pivotal civil rights efforts for our nation. Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 greatly expanded civil rights protections, outlawing racial segregation in public places and places of public accommodation; funding federal programs; and encouraging desegregation in public schools. These efforts have been immortalized in the release of the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar, created to honor those who have made major contributions to the civil rights movement and the creation of a more equitable society.

"This coin will educate, inspire, and tell a story," said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a regarded civil rights activist and once student at UNCF Member Institution Fisk University. "Education is the great equalizer," Lewis said. "These young people need our help, they need our support. "It is my hope that every American would feel the way I feel."

Superstars Usher and Trey Songz acknowledged student "Rising Stars" during UNCF An Evening of Stars, presenting each of them with scholarships that will make the difference in their ability to finish college. Each scholarship represents an investment in the Better Futures® of students, one beyond financial returns. Entertainers including Sheryl Underwood, the Braxton sisters - Tamar, Towanda and Trina, Keshia Chante, DJ Drama, Fonzworth Bentley, Demetria McKinney, Salli Richardson Whitfield, and Mack Wilds also lent their support in raising funds to further UNCF's mission.

UNCF An Evening of Stars was made possible by national sponsors McDonald's, Wells Fargo, and Target, which also serves as the "Rising Stars" scholarship sponsor. Buick and SoftBank are official sponsors and the City of Atlanta, BET and Clear Channel served as the city and media sponsors, respectively.

This year's show was produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment and directed by Chris Robinson. UNCF An Evening of Stars® aired nationally on BET and Centric Networks on Sunday, April 13.

About UNCF An Evening of Stars®
UNCF An Evening of Stars®, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest-running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 35-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate.  In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a who's who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyoncé, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars® received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder, its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson and its 2010 tribute to Lionel Richie. Learn more about UNCF An Evening of Stars® at

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, 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 20 percent 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 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at