On a night filled with fanfare, designer dresses, and even fireworks, Mayor Kasim Reed with wife Sarah-Elizabeth hosted the UNCF 34th annual Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis last Saturday, Dec. 16. Raising more $1.5 million, the fundraiser gala was held in support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to raise awareness and express the importance of education.

“Education and identity. Those two things are essential for moving forward in life. I think it’s critical for people to good a great education and get a strong sense of community, identity, and foundation so people can go out and change the world,” explained co-chair, Ted Blum of Greenberg Traurig.

Former Mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young, Mayor Kasim Reed, and Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms graced the event. Tyrese serenaded the audience with all of his hits and paid homage to legendary R&B group Jodeci.

Quad, Dr. Heavenly, and Dr. Jackie from “Married to Medicine” were also in attendance with their spouses enjoying the evening, along with many more, including Dominique Wilkins, retired Atlanta Hawks player.

Said Wilkins, “I’ve supported them [HBCUs] for 27 years. I will keep on supporting them.”

With a silent auction and a performance from Ryan Clark’s Academy, this prestigious event reminded us all of the integral role HBCU’s play in our culture and society.

“UNCF is not a safety net. It is a foundation that provides resources to kids of all races to ensure they have a chance to receive a fair education,” said event co-chair Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs at Chick-fil-A.

If anyone thought that the Black Mecca had somehow slipped away, this event was a reminder that not only is that not the case but it is reigning supreme.

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