Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Maya Angelou's Annual Awards Luncheon in Charlotte to Feature Grammy-Award Winner

Dr. Maya Angelou, world-renowned poet, actress and civil rights
activist, returns to Charlotte for a much-anticipated event honoring
women leaders and raising scholarship money for deserving students
through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The Eighth Annual UNCF-
Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon will be held at 10 a.m. on
Saturday, June 19, at The Westin Charlotte (601 S. College St.).

The 2010 honorees, who have made significant contributions to their
professions and the community, are: Astrid Chirinos, founder and
president of Diverso Global Strategies; Cynthia Marshall, president of
AT&T North Carolina and Tami Simmons, senior vice president of
corporate philanthropy and environmental affairs with Wachovia.

Jennifer Holliday, a two-time Grammy award winner, and Daisy Spears
Stroud, a retired educator and civil rights activist, will receive the
Maya Angelou/Elizabeth Ross Dargan Lifetime Achievement Award.
Holliday made her professional New York theater debut in 1980 in the
revival of Your Arms Too Short to Box With God. That role led to her
Tony-winning performance in Dreamgirls, and her rendition of that
show's "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" earned the singer-actress
her first Grammy. Stroud is a native Charlottean who took part in the
initial desegregation of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

New to the event is the Excellence Award, which was established to
honor women who have made achievements in various professional
fields. This year's Excellence Award will recognize women in media
from cities throughout North Carolina. Tonia Bendickson, Erica Bryant,
Debbie Kwei-Cook, Fannie Flono, Elsie Garner, Belva Greenage, Fran
Farrer-Nash, Maureen O'Boyle, Colleen Odegaard, Beverly Dorn Steele
and Jeri Thompson are among the Charlotte women who will be
recognized. In addition, an evening performance and conversation with
Jennifer Holliday will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Knight Theater.

"This is one of UNCF's biggest and best fundraisers of the year, and
we are so honored to have Dr. Angelou and all of these outstanding
women join us for an inspiring, fun and quite fashionable event to
support students who want to go to college," said Marilyn Richards,
North Carolina UNCF director.

A major highlight of the luncheon is the popular "HAT-ti-tude!"
contest. Many women – adorned in their favorite hats – compete to win
prizes for the best and most unusual headpieces. Patrons also will
enjoy a silent auction with high-end items, including a private lunch
for six at Dr. Angelou's home and round-trip airline tickets coupled
with a seven-day stay for two at the Villas At Sunset Lane, a new
exclusive boutique hotel in Antigua.

During the luncheon, a $5,000 scholarship will be given to a high
school student who will attend a North Carolina UNCF school in the
fall. Additional proceeds will benefit UNCF member institutions,
including the five located in North Carolina: Bennett College,
Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine's
College and Shaw University.

To purchase tickets to the luncheon and the evening performance,
contact the local UNCF office located at 119 East Seventh Street,
Charlotte, N.C., or call 704-377-8625. Information also is available
on the events section at

About UNCF
UNCF – the United Negro College Fund – is the nation's largest and
most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the
community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and
development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its
39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance
of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black
colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of
African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400
programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring,
summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs.
Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges
and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch
of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is
a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at