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“Advocacy!” Howard University Announces the 2020 Virtual Homecoming Event Schedule and Theme

“Advocacy!” Howard University Announces the 2020 Virtual Homecoming Event Schedule and Theme

WASHINGTON – Howard University presents “Advocacy” as the theme for the 2020 Howard Homecoming festivities, scheduled October 10-18, 2020. The full calendar of events is available online at https://homecoming.howard.edu/.

“Advocacy” is woven into the fabric of Howard University’s DNA. Since the institution’s founding in 1867 the faculty, staff and students have embodied the mission of truth and service through the pursuit of social justice in numerous ways, including marching, protesting, and lobbying. Now, more than 150 years later, the social unrest of today’s society has made clear that the need for advocacy must press on. Howard University will continue to lead by example and demonstrate the variety of ways our community can engage: Advocacy through your Voice, Advocacy through your Dollars and Advocacy through your Vote. While this year’s Homecoming will be virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, now is an optimal time for us to unify our spirits around our collective goals of social justice, inclusivity and equity for all.

“Advocacy appropriately captures the energy of this moment in our society and the need to use this time wisely to continue to move Howard Forward, ensuring that this great university will continue producing the scholars and leaders that our society  desperately needs,” says President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We invite our students, alumni and friends to join the campus community in this series of virtual Homecoming events around the theme of advocacy and use this as an opportunity to reignite and reinvigorate your passion for change in our society. Let’s recommit to this great institution which is standing on the front lines to uphold our mission of truth and service every day.”

The week of festivities will begin with a virtual version of the annual Howard University Day of Service on Saturday, October 10, a continuation of the volunteer spirit connecting Bison to their communities. From emphasizing service, we will segue into a day of praise, featuring Howard’s legendary “Call to Chapel” on Sunday, October 11. The centerpiece of Homecoming will be an expanded version of the HU Ideas Symposium, which will feature a virtual national conference titled “From Protest to Policy: The Pursuit of Racial Justice,” held October 14-16. On Friday, October 16, President Frederick will present the State of the University Address and provide updates on the progress of Howard’s exciting strategic plan.

In lieu of traveling to Washington, D.C., alumni and friends are asked to make a financial contribution to Howard University, investing the dollars they would have used to experience Homecoming in person to support our students instead.

“When Howard Homecoming takes place, the entire city experiences an economic boon from the increase in flights, hotel stays, dining and more. However, if those dollars are invested into the University itself, particularly during this pandemic, we’ll be able to assist students who need a hand making ends meet,” says Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations David P. Bennett. “We are grateful to each of our donors who have decided to reinvest their travel dollars into our scholars who are pushing through this challenging time to stay on course for graduation. Each donation has a significant impact in making that dream a reality.”

For a complete list of events, visit https://homecoming.howard.edu/. To follow the latest homecoming news on social media, use the hashtag #HUHC20.


Day of Service

Date: Saturday, October 10

Location: Virtual

Start time: 9 a.m. EST

Continuing in the tradition of Truth and Service, volunteers are invited to register and serve all across the country. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, Bison families and friends of the University are all welcome to join us and volunteer in their respective local communities. 

Call to Chapel

Date: Sunday, October 11

Location: YouTube.com/RankinChapel

Start time: 11 a.m. EST

Join us at the Homecoming edition of the weekly virtual Chapel service to worship with the University community. Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. Dharius Daniels, Founder and Lead Pastor of Change Church. #SundaysAreForChapel

Howard University Staff Organization Hump Day Happy Hour

Date: Wednesday, October 14

Location: Virtual

Start Time: 4-6 p.m. ET

Join the Howard University staff for a Homecoming Week Happy Hour for a inspirational message, a gathering place to virtually mingle, and some music and entertainment. From the Undergraduate Terrace to the Virtual Gathering Place, the Howard University Staff Organization invite the HU and HUH staff to join in a social opportunity for messaging, mingling and music! Recognizing Howard University’s Homecoming is a celebration for everyone at the Mecca, let’s make Hump Day a special virtual occasion!

HU Ideas Symposium Presents: “From Protest to Policy: The Pursuit of Racial Justice,” A Virtual National Conference

Date: Wednesday-Friday, October 14-16

Location: Virtual

Start: various times

The HU Ideas Symposium presents a national conference hosted by the Howard University Graduate School! The “From Protest to Policy National Conference” will amplify the important social and racial justice work that already happens every day at Howard University in classrooms, in laboratories and research centers, in libraries and archives, and in meetings (both formal and informal) of visionary, historically aware, and culturally conscious minds across the campus. In this moment of national social upheaval and unrest, we recognize an opportunity to develop creative policy solutions to challenges that disproportionately impact Black, indigenous, and Latinx communities. The conference promises to bring together thinkers from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds – humanists, political scientists, economists, historians, medical experts, community organizers and many more – to harness the tremendous potential of our collective knowledge and expertise. 

Sixth Annual LGBTA Renaissance Reception

Date: Thursday, October 15

Location: Virtual

Start time: 7 p.m. EST

The Sixth Annual LGBTA Renaissance Reception will take place virtually on Zoom from 7-8 p.m. EST. The reception will honor Howard University students who emulate our motto “In truth and service” by facilitating awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, and who encourage activism in the larger community. Honorees are awarded a scholarship from the Lavender Fund for demonstrating sensitivity to LGBTQ+ issues and promoting visibility and celebration of LGBTQ+ experiences. Since first introduced, the Lavender Fund has raised over $25,000 and has provided scholarships to 10 students, both undergraduate and graduate. 

Donations to the Lavender Fund help to sustain a scholarship opportunity specifically for LGBTQ+ students at Howard University. In addition to maintaining inclusive environments, the Lavender Fund understands that financial support in the form of a scholarship is one way to ensure LGBTQ+ student retention. Please consider a donation to the Lavender Fund to maintain these annual scholarships by visiting https://bisonfunder.howard.edu/.

State of the University Address

Date: Friday, October 16

Location: Virtual

Start time: 10 a.m. EST

President Wayne A. I. Frederick will deliver his annual State of the University Address, where he will provide key updates on academics, University finances, Howard University Hospital, enrollment, student initiatives and much more! He will share what continues to drive the progress of the University and what’s in store for Howard. You will leave this session ready to educate the world about Howard’s continued success and bright future. So, don’t miss this!

The Yardfest: Virtual Edition

Date: Saturday, October 17

Location: Virtual

Start time: 7 pm EST

A cherished tradition, Yardfest will continue to reinvigorate Homecoming with virtual performances, featuring a diverse range of top-tier artists and entertainers who reflect the Howard diaspora. 

Call to Chapel

Date: Sunday, October 18

Location: YouTube.com/RankinChapel

Start time: 11 a.m. EST

Join us to close out the homecoming week with a thoughtful oration by Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, Senior Pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church. #SundaysAreForChapel

Gospel Concert

Date: Sunday, October 18

Location: Virtual  

Start Time: 7 p.m. EST

Gather your family, friends and your testimony and join us for a celebration of what anchors us, our resilient faith. Meet us in our virtual theater for the Howard University Homecoming Gospel Concert: The Virtual Edition. This experience will feature the Howard University premiere performing arts ensembles.  Get ready for an uplifting evening of inspiration and encouragement! This event is presented by the Office of the Dean Chapel headlining the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University. Free registration starts October 5, for exclusive access and giveaways: http://bit.ly/huhcgc2020.


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About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit howard.edu

Media Contact: Imani Pope-Johns, imani.popejohns@howard.edu