The social media giant is partnering with The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation for its 16th annual HBCU College Festival.


ALEXANDRIA, VA — Facebook and The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation have partnered to support the 16th Annual Alfred Street Baptist Church’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) College Festival. The 2018 Festival will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Since 2003, because of the Alfred Street Baptist Church and their foundation’s commitment to higher education for African-American youths, the HBCU College Festival has connected more than 25,000 students and their parents to academic institutions. Many of the students are first-generation college students. During the past 15 festivals, participating HBCUs have awarded more than $6 million to festival attendees in the form of academic scholarships and/or waived fees. Arguably the largest Free HBCU College Fair in the United States, this 2018 event expects to host over 8,000 students, parents, college officials and volunteers.

“Historically, the success of the festival has been dependent on the financial support of our parishioners and volunteers. Since our festival is a national event, our Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation sought out a national partner with a global identity, interest and commitment in education, and a model diversity plan,” said Rev. Dr. HowardJohn Wesley, Alfred Street’s pastor.

“We are pleased and excited to have Facebook as a partner as we host the HBCU College Festival,” said Calvin Minor, Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation President. “We have a long history of providing scholarship funds to deserving students from the Washington Metropolitan Area. Having Facebook as a partner enhances our efforts to produce a first-rate event and garner additional scholarship funds,” he added.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are vital to the fabric of America, helping ensure equal access to the American dream and educating some of the country’s greatest minds, including generations of African-American pioneers, leaders, and professionals,” said Reginald B. McKnight, Facebook’s Head of U.S. Infrastructure Public Policy. “At Facebook, we are committed to making sure that the next generation of great minds can flourish. We are proud to stand with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation, these amazing young people and our nation’s HBCUs as a partner and a champion for opportunity and access in higher education.”

As a festival partner, Facebook will have an opportunity to serve on the Festival Planning Committee, exhibit at the festival, plan and conduct workshops, and network with students and parents and conduct other partnership activities.

In announcing the partnership, Pastor Wesley said, “While Facebook is a hightech company, it is also committed to education and diversity. Their diversity strategy calls for training women and underserved populations for employment in the tech sector and assembling a workforce that looks like the population. Therefore, it is evident that Facebook shares some of the same social responsibility and values as Alfred Street and our Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation. That is one of the reasons we are elated that Alfred Street and Facebook will be joining forces to support our HBCUs through our College Festival.”