(Left to right) Laverne McCartney Knighton, area development director, UNCF Minneapolis, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Katherine Quinn, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Michael Cox, UNCF regional development director at the May 11 UNCF Masked Ball.

UNCF hosted the 7th annual Twin Cities Masked Ball on May 11 at the JW Marriott, Mall of America. 

Nearly 400 community influencers, business, civic, and education leaders, including event honorary chairs, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, came out and; according to local officials, raised more than $400,000 for historically Black colleges & universities (HBCUs) and for scholarships to help Minnesota students get to and through college.  

As the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States, the United Negro College Fund also actively supports 37 private HBCUs and advocates for minority higher education. During the past 75 years, UNCF has helped nearly half a million students earn college degrees. 

“With the continued support of mayors Carter and Frey and the Twin Cities community, UNCF is able to make a greater impact in the lives of area students,” said Laverne McCartney Knighton, area development director, UNCF. “In order to secure thriving communities, we must build a bridge to quality education for all.”   

Every year, UNCF honors individuals who advocate for a quality education for all. HBCU alums and husband and wife duo Cornell and Wenda Moore and UNCF longtime supporter U.S. Bank received the 2019 Masked Award for their commitment to changing the narrative of HBCUs and the students that attend them.    

McCartney Knighton  said through the contributions made from event sponsors Cargill, Delta, U.S. Bank, Pohlad Companies, 3M, Allianz, Ecolab, Best Buy, Mortenson, General Mills, Medtronic Foundation, Target, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP and Wells Fargo, UNCF will continue its work of providing a path to success for the next generation of leaders.  

“In order to secure thriving communities, we must build a bridge to a quality education for all. The tremendous support from our sponsors helps UNCF continue this mission,” said McCartney Knighton.


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