In January 2004, the Metro-Atlanta Alumni Chapter of Florida A&M University hosted a Mixer as a fundraiser and invited other HBCU alumni chapters to join in on the fun and the opportunity to recruit new members. While only a handful of Chapters were active participants, this was enough to spark a fire that led to the creation of the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance (AHBCUAA).
The leaders of a total of 8 organizations met and brainstormed on how the Chapters can formally collaborate to work collectively to host fundraising events that one Chapter couldn’t successfully conduct on their own. The HBCU Alumni Mixer of 2005 was held in conjunction with the Annual Honda Battle of the Bands and has continued to be one of our signature events.
Over time, the combined efforts grew to include community service efforts consistent with our purpose of benefiting students and contributing to higher education. This includes College Fairs in conjunction with Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin’s Next Step Youth Program which we’ve continued under Mayor Kasim Reed’s leadership as well as college fairs hosted by the AHBCUAA.
As there is never a shortage of competition amongst HBCU Alumni, shortly after the AHBCUAA was formed, we also began to host a number of social events throughout the year to harness that camaraderie and competitive spirit. Our largest event of this type is the Annual Jazz in the Park and Game Day Challenge. Each Memorial Day, member chapters join at the annual Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park and host a number of game challenges. The morning begins with a Flag Football Tournament and ends with a number of other challenges from board games to card games while enjoying the musical performances.
Dan Ford is the President of the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance and for more information you can go to you https://hbcualumniatlanta.org/about/leadership/