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For the fourth year, the Black Alumni Ball will host near 2,000 black alumni from all over the nation on Saturday, August 11, 2018, at The Renaissance in Washington, DC. This year the ball will include hosts King Flexxa, Dominique Da Diva, Jae Murphy and entertainment provided by Johnny Graham & The Groove and Izzy the DJ.

The Black Alumni Ball is an annual event whose mission is to bring black alumni from all universities throughout the nation, including both PWI’s (Predominantly White Institutions) and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities),  for a night of sophistication, style, and fun. Founders and contributors are excited to take this year a step further by introducing the 2018 Black Alumni Ball Scholarship. This newly added component was created to assist qualifying high-school graduates in Washington, DC in lessening the financial burden of entering higher education. The Scholarship recipients will be awarded $1,000. In addition to the Black Alumni Ball Scholarship, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the North Star College Preparatory Academy for Boys PCS to assist in opening a unique middle school campus for Black and Latino boys. The academy’s aim is to provide a safe environment where boys can find respect, support, and positive role models while utilizing their talents and gifts. I spoke with the co-founder Jonathan King to get the inside scoop for this year’s Black Alumni Ball. 

What was your inspiration behind the Black Alumni Ball?

The Black Alumni Ball was created to fund our non-profit efforts in doing the Black Alumni Networking expo, which was a day-long expo that we were doing. We’re basically targeting black professionals with the main goal of connecting Black Alumni from PWI and Black Alumni with the youth… The Black Alumni Ball was started basically to help fund this initiative… and that came from coming to DC in early 2000 and seeing a vast separation in the connection to black alum. Which was a weird time because, during that time, there was a lot of black alumni coming to DC at one time, so they just stayed in their little clicks. So if you didn’t attend this school or whatever, they just didn’t know each other. We just came in and broke that barrier and kind of just made everybody know that we’re all black, and we’re all one, and this is what this event represents.

Why is it important for black professionals to stay connected and work with each other?

It’s more important than ever because a lot of us are trying to become entrepreneurs, a lot of us are trying to open up businesses, a lot of us need partners, right? Need business partners or you know, a lot of us can join our brains together and create bigger things, right? So, it’s time for us to just realize that we have to create action behind saying that we wanna do something or we wanna make change…You know, like the action is actually coming to an event and finding somebody and creating the business and, or creating a new group of friends that has elevated you in your career. Like that’s what this is about, right? So, it’s important that we stay connected cause we aren’t meant to be alone.

Why should people attend?

It’s a few reasons. So, for the past three years, we’ve been donating the money to different places. And we were like “hey, we wanna have more control over where our money is going, I don’t care if it’s $500 or a $1000. We want to give it to somebody and see their progress. So, we’re starting our scholarship.” But the actual entertainment portion of it is one of the most phenomenal things ever because…we have a DJ, the ambiance. It’s so many different factors, but I would definitely label us providing a space for blacks to unite is probably one of the biggest things about why you should attend. You never know who you’re gonna meet.

What’s next for the Black Alumni Ball? 

So we’re going to Charlotte in November. So our next true goal is to basically take the same concept and go to different cities… So each city we will be taking and listening to different people to hear who are the top Black Alumni influencers in the city. I really want to make sure that we’re highlighting, but also like making sure that we’re promoting and having fun with it.

 

To purchase tickets to attend the Black Alumni Ball, click here!

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