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President McNair, outgoing SGA president join May 23 lineup for ESPN’s The Undefeated ‘HBCU Day’

May 20, 2020

Contacts:
Mac Nwulu, mac.nwulu@espn.com / 860.766.4196
Kim Jarvis, kimberly.jarvis@espn.com / 860.766.2298

Undefeated HBCU image

On Saturday, May 23, The Undefeated, ESPN’s content platform exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture, will present “HBCU Day” to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates at historically black colleges and universities. Utilizing the hashtag #UndefeatedHBCUDay, the virtual celebration will feature a collection of videos and written content shared all day across The Undefeated’s social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and curated on www.TheUndefeated.com

Faces familiar to the Tuskegee University family will join the list of prominent African Americans who will deliver congratulatory and inspirational messages to this year’s HBCU graduates — a lineup headlined by former President Barack Obama.

President Lily D. McNair will join two-time Tuskegee alumnus and current Morgan State University President David Wilson for a panel discussion entitled “HBCU Day: Together We Go Further.” Other panelists will include Bennett College President Suzanne Walsh, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Commissioner Jacqui Williams, and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Commissioner Charles McClelland.

Graduating SGA President Micah Grey offers his fellow classmates virtual well wishes following the university’s spring 2020 virtual graduation observance.
 

Graduating biology major and 2019-20 Student Government Association President Micah Grey will join more than 20 valedictorians and ambassadors — nominated by their respective schools — to share inspirational and encouraging messages with their fellow graduates. Their messages will be shared across The Undefeated platforms on Saturday.

“We are proud to present HBCU Day, a celebration of the next generation of leaders who have been educated by our historically black colleges and universities,” said Kevin Merida, ESPN senior vice president and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated. “The day is a reminder of the brilliance and potential of the 2020 graduating class, and of the role HBCUs continue to play in the development of this country.”

A host of African-American celebrities will join Obama, McNair and Grey in offering their well wishes to this year’s graduates, including: 

  • Zuri Adele: Spelman College alumna and star of Freeform’s “Good Trouble” 
  • Anthony Anderson: Howard University graduate, and lead character and executive producer of ABC’s “Black-ish”
  • Antoine Bethea: Howard University graduate, NFL safety and Super Bowl XLI champion
  • Toni Braxton: Bowie State University graduate and a multi-Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter
  • Tarik Cohen: North Carolina A&T alumnus and Chicago Bears running back
  • Omar Epps: Actor best known for his lead role in “Love & Basketball”
  • U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris: Howard University graduate and a former Democratic presidential candidate
  • Leonard Haynes: former Grambling State University president, Southern University alumnus, and a longtime government and private sector adviser on HBCU initiatives
  • Trevor Jackson: Rapper who plays a recurring role in Freeform’s “Grown-ish”
  • Kay C. James: Hampton University graduate, government and public policy leader, and president of The Heritage Foundation 
  • Darius Leonard: South Carolina State University alumnus and Indianapolis Colts linebacker
  • Demetria McKinney: multitalented actor, singer and songwriter with a recurring role in Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem”
  • Loni Love: Prairie View A&M University alumna, talk show host, and comedic actor with numerous appearances in film and television
  • Yvonne Orji: comedian and actor best known for her role in the HBO series “Insecure”
  • Jerry Rice: Mississippi Valley State University graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame wide receiver
  • Diggy Simmons: actor with a current recurring role in Freeform’s “Grown-ish” 
  • Stephen A. Smith: Winston Salem University graduate and one of the nation’s leading sports voices who currently commentates for “ESPN First Take”
  • Stan Verrett: Howard University graduate and “ESPN SportsCenter” anchor

Additional HBCU Day content will include:

  • William H. Rhoden video essay: Columnist and Morgan State University graduate William H. Rhoden will voice an essay about the impact of HBCUs on black life in the current environment.
  • Rhoden Fellow Essays: Three members of the Rhoden Fellowship Class of 2020 — Whitney Bronson and Randall Williams (Hampton University), and Howard University’s Nathaniel Easington — will pen graduation-themed essays.

The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.

In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country — convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.

© 2020, Tuskegee University; with content provided by ESPN