empowermetour_logo_2016_targetUNCF Media Contact: Monique Linder

Tel: 612.787.8705  

Email: monique@omgdigitalmediasolutions.com

Press Release

UNCF Empower Me Tour to Bring Historically Black Colleges and Universities to Chicago

The UNCF Empower Me Tour presented by Target is a full day of workshops, on-site college admissions and scholarship awards aimed at giving students and parents tools to get them to and through college

CHICAGO, IL (Oct. 6, 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 21st century and beyond.

“EMT is a day of critical thinking and character building, and for many students of color in Chicago, will be a transformational experience to help them understand how great their potential is and how achievable their desire for higher education is,” Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF President and CEO, 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.”  Helping students to get to and through college successfully is part of UNCF’s mission. The UNCF Empower me tour is made possible because of strong and consistent donors like Target, Wells Fargo and others.

“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, and building a more diverse and talented workforce in Chicago and across the country.”

“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 UNCF EMT, also sponsored by FedEx and P&G, has a high success rate of graduates from Chicago who attended historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  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 increase to the value of an HBCU education through diversity, cultural competency and how higher education overall prepares students for the challenges they face today and in the future.

“The Illinois Education Report Card” for 2015 continues to show a negative trend for college preparedness for students of color.  The data must be aggregated to address the systemic challenges we see in educating students from various ethnic backgrounds. The Empower Me Tour puts 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 Michael Cox, UNCF’s Regional Development Director.   

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.

Chicago is the second stop of the UNCF Empower Me Tour. The tour continues in 2016 to Oakland, CA, and Rochester, NY. For more information, visit EmpowerMeTour.org.

UNCF Empower Me Tour presented by Target

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Date: Oct. 7, 2016

Location: Chicago State University

 Join the conversation and stay connected to the Empower Me Tour on social media at:

Instagram: @UNCF. . . #EmpowerMeTour

Twitter: @UNCF . . .#EmpowerMeTour

Facebook: UNCF Empower Me Tour


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 UNCF.org.