Previously we’ve covered Wilmington’s third annual HBCU week, which garnered successful numbers such as $3.8 million in scholarships and 1,200 students accepted into colleges. The event was made memorable thanks to appearances from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.

Wilmington’s HBCU festivities for 2020 will begin with the 2nd Annual HBCU Week Gala, which was just announced last week.

The HBCU Gala was born out the HBCU week initiative from Mayor Purzycki in 2017. The mission of the initiative is to encourage high-school youth to enroll in HBCU schools, as well as provide scholarship opportunities and employment pipelines.

The event will be held on February 28th, and will honor the individuals who bring prominence to the City’s event. It will include a VIP reception at 5 p.m., a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. with dinner and awards beginning at 7 p.m.

The event will welcome Stephen A. Smith, as well as honor three individuals with awards.

  • David Roberts, Vice President of Production at ESPN who will receive the HBCU Week Trailblazer Award
  • Mark Vergnano, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chemours Company and Mark Newman, Chief Operating Officer of The Chemours Company who will receive the HBCU Week Executive of the Year Award
  • Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Global Head of Women and Black Community Engagement at Google, who will receive the HBCU Week Social Impact Award.

To purchase tickets to the HBCU Gala on February 28th, go to:

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