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JPMorgan Chase Delivers Advice on Career Readiness to 2020 HBCU Graduates Via LinkedIn Series

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Starting immediately, a new Advancing Black Pathways Career Readiness Series will deliver career and financial health advice...

HBCU Culture and Marching Band Tradition, Honda Battle of the Bands

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[caption id="attachment_184266" align="alignnone" width="600"]rfocus.org Brian "Blue" Smith was honored with the Honda HBCU Power of Dreams Award for his work with The BlueHeart Foundation, a nonprofit organization he created to help fulfill basic needs in Montgomery, Ala. [/caption] 16th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Celebrates HBCU Culture and Marching Band Tradition - Event featured performances by eight Historically Black College and University marching bands - Brian "Blue" Smith, founder of the BlueHeart Foundation, was named the 2018 HBCU Power of Dreams Award winner for his service to the community - HBCU College Fair hosted over 7,000 attendees to discuss admissions and scholarship opportunities Eight of the nation's top Historically Black College and University marching bands performed at the 16th annual Honda Battle of the Bands. Brian "Blue" Smith was honored with the Honda HBCU Power of Dreams Award for his work with The BlueHeart Foundation, a nonprofit organization he created to help fulfill basic needs in Montgomery, Ala. Honda Logo. Eight of the nation's top Historically Black College and University marching bands performed at the 16th annual Honda Battle of the Bands.Brian "Blue" Smith was honored with the Honda HBCU Power of Dreams Award for his work with The BlueHeart Foundation, a nonprofit organization he created to help fulfill basic needs in Montgomery, Ala.Honda Logo. A crowd of 62,000 fans, students and alumni took part in the 16th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase (HBOB) on Saturday, where they enjoyed spectacular performances by eight of the nation's top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) marching bands and GRAMMY Award-winning R&B group 112. This year's HBOB theme, "March On. Dream Together," highlighted the distinctive culture of HBCU with a musical extravaganza of unparalleled musicianship, pageantry and camaraderie. The show opened with a captivating musical salute to the U.S. military. All eight bands—more than 2,000 musicians and dancers in total—joined together on the field to honor all those who serve. Additional HBOB highlights included an energetic drum major tribute to the city of Atlanta, new music from 112's latest album "Q Mike Slim Daron" and a show-stopping routine by the ever-popular Alabama State University Honey Beez. This year's Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase participants included: Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – fifth appearance Alabama State University, Mighty Marching Hornets (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – 13th appearance Hampton University, The Marching Force (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – first appearance Miles College, Purple Marching Machine (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – first appearance North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance The Invitational Showcase presented these marching bands with a national platform to display their talent, both live and streamed online. Each of the participating universities received grants to help support their music education programs. Honda HBCU Power of Dreams Award Recognizes Individual Moving the HBCU Community Forward For the fourth year, Honda honored an exceptional individual who has positively affected the lives of others in the community. Brian "Blue" Smith was named the 2018 Honda HBCU Power of Dreams Award winner. Smith is the founder of The BlueHeart Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to help fulfill basic needs in Montgomery, Ala. From delivering food to those in need to donating toys to children, Smith keeps the Foundation going using funds from his own pocket. Smith is an Alabama State University and Mighty Marching Hornets alum, who also volunteers his time to teach music at a local high school. Honda presented Smith with a surprise grant to help him continue his mission and positive impact in the community. "We are pleased to honor Brian Smith with this award," said Alexandra Warnier, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility for Honda. "His selflessness and humble approach to helping others is both inspiring and admirable. Brian truly embodies the power of dreams." HBCU College Fair Encourages High School Seniors to Think About College In addition to the marching band performances at the 2018 Invitational Showcase, HBOB also included an HBCU College Fair to connect high school students with representatives from fifty-three HBCU schools. Designed to go beyond just exposing young people to the opportunities offered by HBCUs, the college fair enabled prospective college students to meet with marching band and admissions recruiters to discuss admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities. This year's college fair hosted over 7,000 attendees, with more than 300 scholarships awarded. Honda has been committed to supporting the success and dreams of the nation's HBCUs. Through initiatives like the Honda Battle of the Bands and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Honda has been able to touch the lives of more than 120,000 students and award $12 million in grants in support of education programs.  

Eight HBCU Bands “March On” to the 16th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands...

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Eight HBCU Bands "March On" to the 16th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase 

[caption id="attachment_183379" align="alignnone" width="1080"]HBCU, radiofacts The Final 8 bands will perform at the 16th annual Honda Battle of the Bands on January 27, 2018 in Atlanta. (PRNewsfoto/Honda)[/caption]
 A record number of votes helped select a dynamic lineup of marching bands from our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to perform at the 16th Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase on January 27, 2018. The annual event is the culmination of the HBOB program, and provides a national platform to highlight a key element in the HBCU community and campus life – the marching band. The invitational showcase will feature extraordinary musicianship, sport and choreography from eight HBCU marching bands and dance squads who are ready to electrify the city of Atlanta. With a mix of six HBOB veteran bands and two newcomers, the eight bands slated to perform at the 2018 HBOB Invitational Showcase include:
  • Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – fifth appearance
  • Alabama State University, Mighty Marching Hornets (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
  • Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – 13th appearance
  • Hampton University, The Marching Force (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – first appearance
  • Miles College, Purple Marching Machine (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) – first appearance
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) – sixth appearance
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm (Southwestern Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
  • Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) – eighth appearance
Honda invited all HBCU marching bands to participate in this year's program. Of the 39 bands that elected to participate, the "final eight" bands were selected through a voting process that incorporates input from online fans, band directors, HBCU school presidents and representatives from American Honda. In addition to a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education program, each of the final eight bands will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Invitational Showcase. "The Honda Battle of the Bands exists to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of HBCU marching bands by shedding a public light on a hallmark of HBCU culture," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda. "The Invitational Showcase is a chance for thousands of talented young musicians to show off their teamwork and dedication with highly anticipated performances in front of a captive community of supporters. Honda is proud to continue to support the HBCU community." In addition to performances by the final eight bands, Honda will honor one special nominee with the fourth annual HBCU Power of Dreams Award. Students, alumni and fans are invited to nominate extraordinary individuals taking action and moving their HBCU communities forward. Nominations can be submitted online at hondabattleofthebands.com/power-of-dreams through October 31. Group and individual tickets to the HBOB Invitational Showcase start at just $10 and are available for purchase now on the official website. Fans can follow the final eight bands' road to the Invitational Showcase on official HBOB social media channels and join the conversation using #HBOB:
Lexus Verses and Flow Just Changed the Lives of 16 Students

Lexus Verses and Flow Just Changed the Lives of 16 Students

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LexusVersesandFlowBackgroundLexus is proud to announce 16 recipients of the 2015 Lexus Verses and Flow Scholarship. The scholarship program is presented in partnership with select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and is an expansion of the groundbreaking "Verses and Flow" program, featuring poetry, spoken word and music. Scholarship recipients will be awarded $5,000 in recognition of their community leadership and academic excellence. Since its inception last year, the scholarship program has awarded $180,000 to ambitious students. The recipients of the 2015 Lexus Verses and Flow Scholarship are: Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA) – Akilah Grace and Zachary Nevels Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL) - Shanice Cooke and Erica Jones Grambling State University (Grambling, LA) – Jimmitriv Roberson and LaTerra Smith Hampton University (Hampton, VA) – ZaMari Love and Malikah Saafir Howard University (Washington D.C.) – Allyson Carpenter and Carmin Wong LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, TN) – Jamarco Lang and Alexis Moore North Carolina A&T University (Greensboro, NC) – Destiny Dawson and Malcolm Howard Spelman College (Atlanta, GA) – Kayla Dean and Kiara Hill To be considered for the scholarship, students completed an application and submitted a written or video essay detailing how they are community leaders, the importance of community and the benefits of attending an HBCU. "These Lexus Verses and Flow Scholarship recipients are accomplished in school and in their communities," said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. "These young adults are highly motivated and we're excited to reward them for their efforts. We wish them all the best and know they'll positively shape and enhance the lives they touch." The scholarship coincided with the fifth season of "Lexus Verses and Flow," the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award-nominated variety show. Lexus Verses and Flow is broadcast on TV One. Blending electrifying musical and soul-stirring spoken word performances, the eight-episode season featured mega-watt stars Assasin, Avery Sunshine, B.o.B, Charlie Wilson, Chrisette Michele, Estelle, Jazmine Sullivan, Jussie Smollett, Leela James, Melanie Fiona, Raekwon, and Sevyn Streeter alongside more than 25 of the best up-and-coming poets.

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