The United Negro College Fund Awards Essence With Their Trailblazer Award


The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) celebrates 80 years of serving the Black community this year. Since being founded in 1944, the organization has raised over 6 billion dollars and awarded more than 12,000 scholarships to Black students across America. 

The UNCF’s 2024 Gala titled “A Mind Is…” is set to take place March 21st, 2024, hosted by Kim Goodwin, who has chosen ESSENCE to be awarded the Trailblazer Award. Diego Aviles, Vice President of Development at UNCF, tells ESSENCE, “We wanted to recognize Essence with our trailblazer award for lighting a pathway for others to follow.” 

With UNCF’s support, HBCUs can educate and help graduate the most significant number of Black professionals, Aviles quoted numbers including 80% of Black judges, 75% of Black officers in the armed forces, 50% of Black doctors, 50% of Black lawyers, 40% of Black engineers and 40% of Black members of congress

The most significant impact is providing the Black community a platform to stand on the shoulders of a media company designed to celebrate the culture. Media entities like Essence ensure that happens by lifting their voices and stories for an audience to be enlightened. This award serves as more than just a gesture of acknowledgment; it’s a heartfelt expression of gratitude from the UNCF community for Essence’s invaluable contributions to the Black community.

“We need to support our HBCUs and our students of color. And folks like Essence have been there for a long time. Essence paves a trail for others to follow, other corporations to follow by uplifting their communities and having their employees engage.” 

For more information on the UNCF gala, visit here


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