Press Release

UNCF Empower Me Tour Presented by Target to Bring Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the Twin Cities
 UNCF Empower Me Tour is a full day of on-site college admissions, scholarship awards and workshops aimed at giving students and parents tools to get them to and through college

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (Sept. 22, 2016) —The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Empower Me Tour (EMT) is a free, traveling college-and-career-readiness roadshow presented in partnership with Target. The tour was created eight years ago by Wells Fargo to inspire students to take control of their futures by pursuing a four-year college degree and graduating with an education that prepares them for the challenges they will face in the 21 century and beyond.

The UNCF EMT, also sponsored by FedEx and P&G, has a high success rate of graduates from the Twin Cities who attended historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In fact, UNCF awarded $1.5 million in scholarships to students from the Twin Cities that attended the EMT last year. A recent article in the Washington Post written by Valerie Strauss entitled, “Enrollments surge at historically Black colleges amid rise in racial tensions,” highlighted the double-digit growth in enrollment rates, attributing the value of an HBCU education on diversity, cultural competency and how higher education prepares students for the challenges they face today and in the future.

“The need is great in the Twin Cities where extreme education disparities exist across racial sectors. We are putting forth innovative tools and resources that bring the HBCUs to students who otherwise would not have access to these extraordinary schools. On-site registration and scholarship awards can change a student’s life by simply attending the tour,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF.

In addition to on-site admission, scholarships awarded and college prep workshops, students and parents will be exposed to nationally recognized, award-winning author, motivation and inspirational presenter Dr. Alex Ellis and many seminars that help students navigate complex education systems.

“EMT is a day of critical thinking and character building and will for many students of color in the Twin Cities, be a transformational experience to help them understand how great their potential is and how achievable their desire for higher education is,” Dr. Lomax explained. “UNCF’s Empower Me Tour inspires high school students to take control of their lives by using education as the foundation for achieving their goals and dreams.”

The UNCF EMT is possible because of the support from strong and consistent donors like Target, Wells Fargo and others.

 “Our supporters’ commitment and financial support to UNCF and EMT helps black students get through college successfully is highly commendable, grounded in shared values and is very much appreciated,” said Paulette Jackson, vice president of national development, UNCF. “Our partners truly know the value of supporting communities by providing the opportunity of higher education. Target is a leading sponsor in enabling UNCF to close the education gap that divides communities and perpetuates poverty. These goals would not be possible without support from partners like Target, FedEx, P&G and our founding sponsor, Wells Fargo.”

“Target is honored to sponsor UNCF’s Empower Me Tour and to help transform young lives through the power of education,” said Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Target. “​By helping kids graduate from high school and get into and through college, we’re helping to provide a pathway to more opportunities.”

“The UNCF Empower Me Tour makes the dream of higher education a reality for many young people in America by equipping students and parents with the information, tools and resources they need,” said Gigi Dixon, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is pleased to team up with UNCF once again to provide these essential resources for students and their families so that they can make informed decisions about how they will get to and through college successfully.”

The Empower Me Tour kicks off in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sept 26, and then heads to three more cities in 2016: Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA and Rochester, NY. For more information on the UNCF Empower Me Tour, visit www.EmpowerMeTour.org.

UNCF Empower Me Tour presented by Target

Dates: Sept. 26-27, 2016

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center

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Twitter: @EmpowerMeTour


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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 20 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 900 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 www.UNCF.org.

Full release here