Rolling Out

Howard alum and HBCU Week founder Ashley Christopher reveals celebrity lineup

Howard alum and HBCU Week founder Ashley Christopher reveals celebrity lineup
Photo courtesy of Ashley Christopher

Ashley Christopher, CEO of HBCU Week Foundation, is licensed to practice law in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A stroke survivor, Christopher founded HBCU Week in 2017 with the purpose of gathering high school-aged students and exposing them to the historical significance and proud legacies of HBCUs. The goal is for those students to consider HBCUs for higher education opportunities.


She shared as much and more with rolling out during an exclusive interview.


How did HBCU Week come about?

It started as a very small event in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city about 30 miles south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wilmington is my hometown. I wanted to come up with an idea to engage as many Black and Brown students in my area with HBCU recruiters as possible. I’m a double HBCU alum, so the impact that HBCUs have had on my life is really invaluable. I count it as my personal responsibility to share and spread that word with as many people as I can. So, I started the event hoping for about 200 kids that I could gather with HBCU recruiters. But when I started to market, that 200 spiked to 700.


What are you hoping for HBCU Week to be this year?

We now have a full week of activities. It’s gone from just Wilmington to regional. We also have virtual components so nationwide, students can participate. We do a lot of marketing on social media. Our friends over at the Ketchum Firm help us significantly with pushing the messaging out. My goal is for people to recognize HBCU week as easily as they do the Super Bowl. So we’re trying to push this out to people all across the globe to get them engaged with HBCUs.

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