VSU to Participate in the Big Homecoming Music and Culture Festival
VSU joins other HBCUs for festival to pay homage to Rich Legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Virginia State University will participate in the nation's newest premier music and culture festival. The festival dubbed The Big Homecoming will debut in Atlanta, GA on June 17-18, 2022.
Billed as the first of its kind, the event will capture the unique energy and creativity of homecoming celebrations at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The two-day experience will pay homage to HBCUs and provide a safe space to experience the authentic facets of HBCU homecoming culture, including tailgating, music, food, art and more—all in one epic summer event.
Festival programming also includes a 365 Impact Tour, which will introduce dynamic activations at multiple HBCUs throughout the year and further the legacy and pride shared by HBCU students and alums. The Big Homecoming is proud to partner with Allstate and Walmart as the founding and presenting partners of the event, including the 365 Impact Tour. Other leading brands such as Spotify and Wells Fargo will also support the tour, which begins in August.
Ongoing 365 Impact programming will focus on:
EDUCATION: Providing resources, scholarships, internships, and job recruitment opportunities for high school and HBCU students.
LEADERSHIP: Curating conversations with global leaders and entrepreneurs to impact students' approach to smart life choices.
FINANCIAL LITERACY: Increasing students' financial wellness through a better understanding of budgeting, investing and how to build generational wealth.
HEALTH: Improving wellness through healthy lifestyle choices and a positive mindset.
"The Big Homecoming and 365 Impact is partnering with companies that have a proven record of adding significant value to the African American community, especially HBCUs," said Amir Windom, co-creator, The Big Homecoming and VSU Executive Speaker In Residence. "Our shared values with Allstate, Walmart, Spotify and Wells Fargo made the decision to forge ahead easy. It also sets the foundation for what will be much more than a music festival, but rather a true cultural experience."
Title and founding partners expressed excitement for the initiatives, stating:
"Inclusive Diversity & Equity (IDE) has long been a core value of Allstate. We will be a leader, convener and enabler of social mobility, creating an inclusive economy that provides opportunity to everyone. We hold ourselves accountable to moving society forward in addressing any barriers – using our good hands to empower a more equitable future℠," said Eloiza Domingo, vice president of HR and chief Inclusive Diversity & Equity officer of The Allstate Corporation. "Allstate has spent the last several decades supporting initiatives that positively impact HBCUs and the African American community. In 2021, Allstate partnered to deliver programming to 25 HBCUs across 14 states with a focus on development, career opportunities and financial literacy. Allstate has also donated more than $1 million representing nearly 500 student scholarships distributed to HBCUs since 2009 as part of its annual Quotes for Education program. I am excited to continue Allstate's commitment to HBCUs by being this year's title sponsor of the first Big Homecoming Festival." For more ways Allstate is leading in IDE, visit AllstateSustainability.com.
In addition to serving as a founding partner, Walmart is the official retailer of The Big Homecoming. This partnership demonstrates Walmart's commitment to investing in the HBCU community with the goal of fulfilling its customer mission and helping people build a better life for themselves and their families. Walmart is also focused on increasing access to educational opportunities for Black and African American youth through shared value and philanthropic initiatives that support its strategy to advance equity in education. In June 2020, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change across four focus areas: education, finance, health and criminal justice. For more information about Walmart's commitment to Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, click here.
"Wells Fargo is excited to be a founding partner of The Big Homecoming," said Gigi Dixon, head of External Engagement for Wells Fargo. "We believe strongly in investing in HBCUs to help keep these institutions of higher learning strong as they prepare young leaders for the future." The Big Homecoming and Wells Fargo share a mission to create consistent impact for HBCUs, through this festival and the 365 Impact Tour. "We are so proud to be on this journey of creating positive impact within the HBCUs and the communities we serve," Dixon said. For more information about Wells Fargo commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.
Through integrated programming, The Big Homecoming seeks to benefit all HBCUs, particularly current students. In addition to corporate partners, the festival has also engaged official collegiate partners as part of the 365 Impact initiative, including Florida A&M University, Virginia State University, Jarvis Christian College, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, North Carolina Central University and Jackson State University. Additional partners will be announced during the kickoff celebration, featuring a convocation, on Friday, June 17, 2022.
About The Big Homecoming + 365 Impact
Co-created by Grammy Award-winning record entertainment executive Amir Windom and music executive Maurice Slade, The Big Homecoming will offer a truly authentic HBCU experience. Windom and Slade were college roommates at Florida A&M University and have built resumes as curators of lifestyle, entertainment and culture over the past two decades. The festival was conceived during the pandemic — in the absence of the HBCU homecoming experience — to tap into the nostalgia of connection that only HBCU homecomings offer. Through the company's 365 Impact campaigns, entertainment, philanthropy and the culture will merge in a meaningful way. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheBigHomecoming.com.