Listen to this story
The leaders behind the HBCU Honors award show recently announced that the host of their first show will be actor and producer Wendy Raquel Robinson.
Scheduled to be held at the Black Archives-Historic Lyric Theater in Florida and aired in February 2023 during Black History Month, the HBCU Honors award show celebrates the work of HBCU graduates who have had a great impact on the Black community and other general communities.
The work of eight alumni in sectors of “business, media, entertainment, teaching, public service, entertainment as well as aviation and aerospace” will be highlighted for the first show, according to an official press release.
“Our amazing HBCU honorees and trailblazers embody HBCU excellence, crushing glass ceilings, driving equity and inclusion, challenging the status quo, dispelling stereotypes, and advancing the HBCU mission,” said creator of the show, former BET Networks Senior Vice-President, and Spelman College graduate, Michelle M. Bailey.
Robinson, known for her roles “The Steve Harvey Show” and “The Game,” also expressed her excitement for the event in the official statement, mentioning her HBCU journey as 1989 Fine Arts Howard University alumni.
“I am thrilled to be a part of history as host of this incredible inaugural HBCU Award Show,” she said. “I’m a proud alumna of Howard University and I am ready for the exciting night that is for us, by us, and unapologetically celebrates us and our beloved HBCU lifestyle.”
The announcement comes shortly after increased reports that HBCUs are gaining attraction and support. In October, Howard University specifically was reported to have raised about $122 million in research funding- more than any HBCU has ever raised and amongst the top U.S. universities to reach the mark.
The university’s research funding has been spearheaded by Dr. Bruce Jones, Ph.D., a political scientist and the Howard Vice President for Research. Since his appointment to the HBCU’s Office of Research, Jones has helped increase funding by 175% through steps like more research proposals, according to the university.
The increased rates of funding came at a time when HBCUs were being severely underfunded with universities that are not HBCUs receiving more of the funds, according to a 2019 report by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
“The breadth and scope of the research coming out of Howard University is nothing short of astounding,” said Dr. Jones per a release by Howard University. “With this added funding, the research capacity of the university will be accelerated, allowing us to continue to conduct cutting-edge research on a larger scale commensurate with Howard University’s institutional mission: to forward the development of scholars and professionals who drive change.”