Alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities will soon flood Charlotte for the city’s first Queen City HBCU Cookout on July 27. Hundreds are expected to gather at McDowell Nature Preserve in southwest Charlotte to show their school pride, rehash memories and be a resource for future students. Get ready for the family reunion vibes.
The cookout is the brainchild of Tia Boyd, an alumna of North Carolina A&T State University and owner of Firm Entertainment Enterprise. As social committee chair for the Aggies local alumni chapter, Boyd was inspired to provide an opportunity to unify HBCU grads living in the Queen City. She has been working with about 10 local HBCU alumni chapters.
Boyd says the goal of the cookout is to increase opportunities for young people of color who reside in some of Charlotte’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. She wants youth to see successful people who look like them. Next year, the Queen City HBCU Cookout is expected to relocate closer to Charlotte’s center city. Boyd says with access to better public transportation, more students will be able to attend. Networking opportunities will also be within arm’s reach for students lacking exposure to resources for growth and education. Event organizers plan to raise scholarship funds for local high school students.
Schools have sought to raise the profile for HCBUs in order to increase attendance. Through events like the Queen City HBCU Cookout, and dedication of alumni like Boyd to serve the community, the history and culture of our historic institutions will not fade — and our HBCUs will be around to continue to provide opportunities.
Queen City HBCU Cookout
Date: Saturday, July 27
Time: 12-6 p.m.
Location: McDowell Nature Preserve, 15222 York Rd., Charlotte
Cost: $5-$10, get tickets