Music mogul, record producer, and songwriter Jermaine Dupri will receive the United Negro College Fund Masked Award for being a beacon of hope in providing quality education to students of color at this year’s 36th annual Atlanta UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball on Dec. 21 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Dupri, an Atlanta native, has written and produced songs for Mariah CareyMonicaDa BratJay-Z, Nas, Ludacris, and many others. Last year, Dupri was instrumental in the gala’s record-breaking $1.3 million raised by donating $50,000 to help HBCUs and deserving area students.

Award-winning R&B recording artist Charlie Wilson, known to rock the house, will serve as the entertainment as luminaries look to raise more than $1 million for HBCUs and the students they support.

Additional event highlights include a VIP Masked Award reception, silent and live auctions, elegant dining, the parade of dignitaries, dancing and dinner entertainment provided by UNCF-member institution Clark Atlanta University’s jazz band.

“This year’s annual gala is the culminating event celebrating UNCF’s 75th anniversary. As we celebrate hosting the Mayor’s Masked Ball for 36 years in Atlanta, we know we could not make it successful without the major contributions of our diverse Atlanta community and its outstanding corporations,” said Justine Boyd, regional development director, UNCF. “With Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as host and the commitment of corporate sponsors and volunteers, we continue to raise the bar to support deserving students and our 37 UNCF-member institutions, four of which are in Atlanta.”

The United Negro College Fund has, for the past 75 years, empowered more than half a million students to earn college degrees. As the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States, UNCF actively supports 37 private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and advocates for minority higher education.

Founded in 1983 by Billye Aaron and Ambassador Andrew Young, the annual event is Atlanta’s premier holiday season social soiree gathering the who’s who of the city, including:

  • host Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, City of Atlanta;
  • Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF;
  • event co-chairs Helen Smith Price, president, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and vice president, Global Community Affairs, and Eduardo Martinez, president, The UPS Foundation, and UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer;
  • member institution presidents representing Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and The Interdenominational Theological Center; and,
  • a host of celebrities and UNCF friends.

From its beginning 36 years ago, educating students has always been at the forefront of the fundraising event’s mission. With the success of the UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball, thousands of students have a brighter future because of the support they have received.

In the past few years, more than 800 students attending UNCF-member schools were either able to attend college and/or continue their college education without the interruption of financial challenges.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 05: Jermaine Dupri attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)

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