( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) The HBCU SpringComing Festival is Presented by Indeed for Its in-Person Return
ENSPIRE Contributor: HBCU SpringComing
In step with an exciting return to in-person festivals across the country, (Historically Black College and University) HBCU SpringComing is back this spring just as mask mandates are being relaxed. Following a wildly successful virtual presentation in 2021, during which $10,000 in scholarship money was awarded, co-founders Lauren Grant Grove and George A. Peters II are happy to announce the festival’s triumphant return to New York City on April 15-16, 2022, and their expansion into Birmingham, AL in May.
Presented by Indeed, this year’s NYC event will offer a unique schedule that includes an Innovation Lab, an after-work networking mixer, an HBCU-themed Yard Fest (School Daze) as well as family-friendly tennis workshops hosted by the US Tennis Association. Ultimately, these activations all provide a space where people can connect and discuss opportunities for meaningful work. Whereas HBCU SpringComing brings the Southern Homecoming experience to New York City, its three-day iteration in Birmingham is sure to bring the event to a whole new dimension. “With Alabama having the most HBCUs in the country and Birmingham being at the center of it all,” says Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “HBCU SpringComing, with our southern flair and charm, will be reminiscent of a homecoming tailgate experience.”
While the annual celebration has emerged as the largest gathering of HBCU graduates and attendees in the Northeast, it has remained one of New York’s best-kept secrets. Since its inception, HBCU SpringComing has always welcomed graduates and influencers from across the country. The gathering holds particular significance for the thousands of attendees who can create new personal and professional bonds while recreating the unique atmosphere of their HBCU campuses. At its core, HBCU SpringComing is about connecting students with opportunities. Boasting over $50,000 in scholarships awarded to support high school students committing to an HBCU via the Puissance Scholarship, this year’s event adds another award opportunity for applicants via the (US Tennis Association) USTA Althea Gibson Scholarship.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with HBCU SpringComing to celebrate the HBCU experience and bring tennis to thousands of their attendees for the first time,” said Marisa Grimes, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, US Tennis Association. “HBCUs have long contributed to the growth and progress of tennis in the Black community, and it’s important that we continue to invest in their sustainability – for the good of the sport and society at large.”
The true reason for this annual gathering centers around giving time, resources and an unforgettable experience. “HBCU SpringComing is our chance to ensure that we protect the sacred spaces that helped us to get to where we are now, well before we knew what we could become,” says co-founder George A. Peters, II. “We do that simply by sharing space with each other, reviving our favorite traditions and making new memories as we introduce our families to the celebration of the unique education only possible on historically Black campuses.”
For HBCU SpringComing co-founder, Lauren Grant Grove, the commitment to HBCUs is not new, “We have been on the forefront of HBCU alumni engagement and education since 2015. This was the case long before mainstream America rediscovered the importance of these hallowed institutions. In creating a space where alumni and current HBCU students can see each other thriving and share advice and resources, HBCU SpringComing also serves to foster a more equitable world for Black professionals.”
Indeed has publicly committed to increasing their workforce representation to 30% of underrepresented racial ethnic minorities in the US. The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) team established this partnership to support that goal and will continue to develop inclusive processes and policies so Indeed can continue to fulfill their purpose of helping all people get jobs. “Diversity is not simply an initiative, it is how we do business,” says Senior Director and Global Head of DI&B Misty Gaither. “Indeed believes that talent is universal, but opportunity is not, and this is one of the ways we are working to increase access and remove barriers to employment.”
HBCU SpringComing will first return to New York City – its home of eight years – on April 15-16, 2022. The event will then travel to Birmingham on May 27-28. For additional information and to register, please visit our website.
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