UNCF To Host Inaugural South Florida Legacy of Leadership Luncheon, Honoring Local Champions of Education and Raising Funds for HBCUs

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Former U.S. congressional candidate and award-winning journalist Matt Haggman to serve as keynote speaker

For most people, Florida is known for warm weather and vacations. But to those who live in Florida, it’s home—the place where they raise their families and aspire to enable their children to get the college education they deserve and the 21st century economy demands. And UNCF (United Negro College Fund) has been there to help them for more than 15 years.

UNCF will join close to 300 business, civic and community influencers, including master of ceremonies, Calvin Hughes, anchor, WPLG-TV, and keynote speaker Matt Haggman at the inaugural South Florida Legacy of Leadership Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Miami on November 15 to help Florida’s brightest get to and through college successfully.

Haggman, who served as former program director for the Knight Foundation, a non-profit that invests journalism and art resources to support students in American cities such as Miami, is an advocate for change and investing in a quality education. Recently campaigning for a congressional seat in Florida, Haggman continues to forge a path to education for the next generation of leaders.

"I know the importance of a good education. I’m the product of public education, and my brother has been an English public school teacher for a decade,” said Haggman. “Quality, affordable education is the creator of opportunity in our country and the bedrock of our democracy.”

Local heroes Ricardo M. Forbes, corporate vice president and chief diversity officer (Ret.), Baptist Health South Florida; and Henry Givens, civil rights activist, founding president of Grovites United to Survive and former president of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, will both be honored with the Legacy of Leadership award for their dedication to providing a high-quality education to Florida’s youth.

“Our leadership luncheon honors local champions whose footprints serve as an investment in today’s youth,” said Haki Halisi, area development director, UNCF Ft. Lauderdale. “Because of these individuals, many of us understand the importance of service and paying it forward—doors that were closed for us are now open for the next trailblazers.”

More than 5,500 Florida students attend HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), including UNCF-supported scholars Anthony Brown and Wendy Edouard, students at Florida Memorial University. Both Brown and Edouard will speak about the impact of their UNCF scholarships and the importance of HBCUs at the inaugural luncheon.

UNCF-member institutions Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College are among the Florida HBCUs that contribute almost 8,000 in jobs, $833 million in economic impact and $8.6 billion in lifetime earnings for Florida HBCU graduates, according to a landmark study commissioned by UNCF.

“This is the first of many initiatives we are planning supporting area students and local HBCUs,” said Halisi. “We are encouraging the community to secure better futures for us all by investing and serving as a voice for deserving youth.”

This event is made possible because of the commitment of UNCF sponsors, including Braman Miami, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Ocean Bank.

Click here for more information about UNCF’s efforts in Florida or to purchase tickets, email Haki.Halisi@uncf.org or call 954.527.3315

Follow the discussion on Twitter #UNCFMiami


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 nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and 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 more than 1,100 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 UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

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Cynetra McMillian
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