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Actress Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins joins Diageo and its brands to celebrate Black culture and tradition during homecoming season with HBCU Buzz’s 30 Under 30 Inaugural Alumni Bison Ball. Read more about how they’re making innovative contributions to the culture inside.

The first Historically Black College or University was founded in 1837 at Cheyney University. Since then, they have continued to shape the lives of some of the most impactful people leading their respective industries. They are constantly pushing today’s culture, education and tradition forward. With more than 100 HBCUs across the country, these institutions are molding an even brighter future for its students.

In 2021, Diageo and its brands announced their commitment to advancing the Black community and have pledged $10 million to create permanent endowments at 25 HBCUs across the country with Society 2030.

With its Innovation Hub at select institutions to provide students and faculty with an experiential approach and resources that complement traditional learning – including mentorship, lecturers for faculty and students and curriculum development assistance, and continue to champion Black excellence. This fall, Diageo will continue standing at the forefront of Black celebration and advancement of Black education and leadership by supporting HBCUs this Homecoming season through innovative programming that upholds the organization’s pledge to shape the next generation of Black leaders.

Together with its brands CÎROC, Crown Royal, Tequila Don Julio and Tanqueray, in partnership with HBCU Buzz, DIAGEO will honor the next generation of Black leaders and industry changemakers on October 21st at the 30 Under 30 Reception and later at the inaugural Alumni Bison Ball to toast to each honoree’s impact and impressive achievements to build a better future.

“Whenever I have an opportunity to return home to Howard University, a place that holds so many fond memories and helped me grow into who I am today,” Featherson-Jenkins speaks of her involvement. “It leads me to reflect on how important HBCUs are to our communities. Together with DIAGEO and its brands, I’m proud to pay it forward and support my alma mater as we uplift the next generation of changemakers.”

Diageo will continue to celebrate HBCU traditions and historic rivalry of Grambling State University and Southern University at the 48th Annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans next month. Throughout the weekend, CÎROC, Crown Royal, Tequila Don Julio, and Tanqueray will join the community as they honor Black celebration through the lens of community, impact, and inclusivity.

Read more on Diageo’s Society 2030 initiative here.