Working to improve the lives of talented and deserving students of color, the 14th annual Tampa Bay UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Black History Month Luncheon is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 28 at 11:30 a.m., at the Tampa Marriot Westshore. The fundraising event brings together dignitaries, corporations, civic leaders and historically black colleges and university (HBCU) alumni who support UNCF’s mission of forging better futures for all through higher education.

Since its founding, UNCF has empowered more than half a million students to earn college degrees. As the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States, UNCF also actively supports 37 private HBCUs and advocates for minority higher education. 

“We are so grateful to the Tampa Bay community for their on-going support of students who depend on UNCF to realize their dream of higher education,” said Gwen T. Hewitt, area development director, UNCF.  

The Black History Month Luncheon weaves together the recognition of African American excellence and history with UNCF’s primary mission to help Tampa students reach their educational goals. Last year’s event raised more than $60,000 for local students with the help of Hillsborough County. The participating donors and sponsors for this year include AT&T, Wells Fargo, and Suncoast Credit Union and JPMorgan Chase.

WFTS-TV Action News anchor and reporter Deiah Riley will serve as mistress of ceremonies, along with the media outlet also acting as a media sponsor. Retired U.S. Navy Captain and former astronaut Winston Elliot Scott will be the keynote speaker. Entertainment to be provided by The Bethune Cookman Concert Chorale. The event will feature UNCF scholarship recipients from Bethune Cookman University and the  University of South Florida. To purchase tickets, go to Follow this event on social media @UNCF #UNCF #UNCFTampa


About UNCF UNCF (the 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, supports and 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 17 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 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 or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF Florida Region on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.


Mashari Grissom
United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF)