By Jessica Modkins
From line dances to fraternity and sorority stepping, Miami got a full dose of HBCU love this weekend from Alumni and current students at Rolling Oaks Park in Miami Gardens. It was the 5th Annual South Florida HBCU outing drawing close to two-thousand guests from as far as West Palm Beach to join in on the festivities to celebrate Historical Black Colleges & Universities.
Jewel Reid, graduate from North Carolina A&T State University, was one of the attendees who traveled from Palm Beach to experience the day. “The HBCU outing was a great opportunity to fellowship with NC A&T alumni and other HBCUs [alumni]. Especially for those who are new to town, it was a great way to meet new friends and make new connections!”
It was an annual event that was imperative for outing organizer Melody Miller, a graduate of Howard University. It’s an important day for youth attending the outing. This exposure to Black and Brown college graduates is a tool for raising their level of expectations in life.
“It is important to understand that we can offer ourselves the best and the highest education. When I attended Howard I didn’t only get an education, I got an enrichment for my life and that’s why this day is important. That’s why it’s important to go to an HBCU.”
Participating HBCU schools and organizations were Tuskegee University, Bethune Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, Florida A&M University, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Tennessee State, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Alcorn State, Grambling State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Omega Psi Phi, and Black Professionals Network. Officials in attendance were Florida State Senator Oscar Braynon, picnic founder and Opa-Locka Mayor Matthew Pigatt, Miami Gardens Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro, and Miami Gardens Councilman Reggie Leon. South Florida HBCU outing organizers are gearing up for 2020 festivities to be even bigger.