The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will host its ninth annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball in person Saturday, March 26 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Corporate partners, educators, religious leaders and community influencers will be in attendance, including host Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

“As America builds back better, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have never been more important to the nation’s economic growth. HBCUs are major engines of Black social and economic mobility and the prosperity of state and local communities. Yet, they remain systemically underfunded,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Your support is needed more than ever as UNCF fights for increases in federal support for Pell Grants and other student aid and state support for our 37 member institutions and HBCUs overall. I encourage you to invest in UNCF so together we can invest in and build future generations of Black college students who will lead this nation and contribute to our economy. Events like the New Orleans UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball helps us do just that.”

For 77 years, UNCF has strived to change the HBCU narrative across the nation by equipping more HBCU students with the resources necessary to transition into college, graduate and ultimately expand and diversify America’s highly educated workforce.

The event is chaired by Michael O. Smith, general manager, Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans. Ochsner Health will serve as the event’s presenting sponsor. Marquis sponsors include Entergy Corporation, the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans, Karen and Henry Coaxum, Donna and Paul Flower, Sherry and Alan Leventhal (members of the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences), Mardi Gras Productions, the New Orleans Saints/New Orleans Pelicans, WDSU and other generous sponsors.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, president, Dillard University, and Joel Vilmenay, president and general manager, CBS2 KCAL9 and CBS News Los Angeles, will each receive the Mayor’s Masked Ball Award for their steadfast commitment to education and unwavering support of UNCF.

“We are elated that we’re able to bring the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball back, live! Like carnival season, this is one of the seasonal social events our community looks forward to every year. It’s an opportunity for us to reconnect with our stakeholders and recognize those that are going above and beyond to create remarkable opportunities for our young people. We simply could not do the very important work that we do without the help of our caring and committed community partners. This event gives us the opportunity to party with a purpose, while we raise funds to support our HBCUs and the students who attend them,” said Therese Badon, vice president of development – Southern division, UNCF.

The New Orleans UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball event has generated more than $11 million over nine years in support of local HBCUs and scholarship support to help deserving students get to and through college successfully. With the help of the greater New Orleans community, more than $1.2 million was awarded last year in scholarships and programs for UNCF-member HBCUs and other colleges and universities.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by Grammy Award-winner Stephanie Mills. The event will also feature student testimonials, silent auction and a parade of masks.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Darrell Johnson at 504.581.3794 or by email at Tickets can be purchased online at

For those unable to attendUnable to attend, donations to UNCF can be made by visiting

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