Meet Our BLM Foundation x HBCU Ambassadors - Black Lives Matter
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Meet Our BLM Foundation x HBCU Ambassadors

We are excited to support and advance Black futures through the launch of our BLM Foundation x HBCU Student Ambassador Program, an extension of our Student Solidarity Fund programming!

The BLM Foundation HBCU Ambassadors are a diverse group of HBCU current students and alumni. They provide invaluable perspective and understanding about the HBCU experience and, with their individual communities and networks both on and off campus, are able to mobilize HBCU student communities on issues that matter most to them. We believe this program is just the beginning of what can be achieved when we support Black studentship and will play a part in our continued mission to invest in the future of Black lives.

The BLM Foundation HBCU Student Ambassador Program is an initiative which seeks to ensure a diverse set of HBCU students have knowledge of and access to apply for funding through the BLM Foundation Student Solidarity Fund.

We sat down with each of our ambassadors to learn more about their visions and goals for the future. Learn about their amazing work in this two-part video series.

Watch the Series in our Media Center

Brandy Star Merriweather (she/her) | Clark Atlanta University, Senior

Brandy Star Merriweather is ‘The GenZ Publicist’. She is socially known as @MsHBCU where she shares her collegiate entrepreneurial lifestyle, and advocacy for HBCUs. At age 24, she is an International Business major and the definition of a Gen Z Boss. Brandy has reached success by having an early start in the industry amplifying the New, Now, and Next. During high school she worked for a number of companies and agencies doing event production, publicity, and managerial support.

Brandy is the founder of and senior publicist for BStarPR where she leads marketing and publicity efforts for top brands and Gen Z professionals. She’s helped clients get amplified on USA Today, Forbes, ESSENCE, Tech Crunch, Business Insider, AfroTech, BET and a number of other publications. BStarPR continues to work with a number of brands for movie screenings, conferences, music festivals, award shows, tv shows, local events and more!

Brandy and the nonprofit Creator Equality, which she founded with Kahlen Barry and Seth Fracois, were most recently named 1 of 10 OZY Genius Award recipients for their efforts to aid BIPOC content creators and tech professionals. Additionally, Brandy has been recognized as Atlanta’s ’25 Under 25’ top innovators and entrepreneurs. In 2022, Rolling Out honored Brandy as “A Sister with Superpowers!”

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

Brandy Star Merriweather: It’s directed me even more into prioritizing my Public Relations company for social good. At BStarPR we amplify the New, Now and Next. My time with my peers and being surrounded by Black excellence gave me the motivation to utilize my skills to ensure my peers do not go under-amplified, even if they are young.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

Brandy Star Merriweather: Black Joy to me means we’re in a utopia. It means peace. I truly believe real black joy comes from a sense of security and certainty, that when we are happy that feeling doesn’t have to go away.

Tahir Murray (he/him) | Howard University, Class of 2021

Tahir Murray is Founder and Creative director of LegacyHistoryPride.

As a 3rd generation entrepreneur in the apparel industry, it has always been Tahir’s dream to continue the legacy his grandfather started when he immigrated to America from Trinidad in search of the American dream.

As a sophomore in 2019, the Howard alum started LegacyHistoryPride, a collegiate lifestyle brand that designs and develops apparel that evokes the richness of HBCUs. From cardigans and fleece tops to preppy varsity jackets and more, the common thread is: heritage. The goal at LegacyHistoryPride is to awaken and strengthen a sense of pride in the originality of HBCUs by carefully designing tailor-made apparel.

Through his photography, creative direction, and design, Tahir has been able to lead his team with intentional marketing and branding through every step of the brand’s process.

The 23-year-old entrepreneur has been able to work with major corporations, professional sports teams, and philanthropic organizations in finding ways to ignite conversations celebrating impactful legacies through fashion.

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

Tahir Murray: It has helped craft my “why.” When you step outside of campus, you truly see the benefit and impact that an HBCU education has on you—the confidence, the character, and the memories shape the person you are striving to be.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

Tahir Murray: Black joy is freedom and limitless opportunity.

Cecily Dionne Davis (she/her) | Howard University, Senior

Cecily Dionne Davis, from Atlanta, Georgia, is a graduating senior and B.F.A Musical Theatre major at Howard University. During her junior year, she was elected the Inaugural Miss Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. Currently, she humbly and graciously serves as the 84th Miss Howard University for the 2022-2023 academic year. Throughout her matriculation at Howard, she has diligently advocated on behalf of her peers within the Howard Community, the DC Community, as well as those in her hometown, with her passion for service.

Post graduation, Cecily plans to continue her dedication for advocacy through the arts. She aspires to begin acting with regional theaters in hopes of eventually making her Broadway debut. While she has a strong love for performance, Broadway is not her end goal. Ultimately, Cecily strives to expand the creative niche within our community into all aspects of the arts, providing more exposure to musicals, cabarets, art exhibits, plays, symphonic concerts, and so much more. She plans to provide spaces for Black voices to be heard by Black ears, making sure that our stories do not continue to become diluted due to a discomfort of our truth.

As a faith driven queen, her motto is that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. Her stride may waiver, but she simply won’t fall. She is so excited to begin this journey alongside the Black Lives Matter Foundation. Cecily will be on stages worldwide, on screens from neighborhood to neighborhood, and in the hearts of many, ensuring that creativity in our community is not met with the fear of the unknown, but with the power of faith.

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

Cecily Dionne Davis: Attending Howard has made me shift my career plans significantly. As a musical theatre major at the ONLY HBCU that offers a BFA in Musical Theatre, I chose this University to be taught the skill of performance through a black lens. Post graduation, I plan to dive into the entertainment industry, more specifically, theatre arts. The goal is to begin acting with regional theaters in hopes of eventually making my Broadway debut. By the grace of God, I recently signed with an agent in New York City, so, I am 10,000 steps closer to Broadway than a normal BFA senior. While I have a strong love for performance, Howard has shifted my plans to where Broadway is no longer my end goal. Ultimately, I’m most passionate about the intersection of African Americans and the entertainment industry. I’m striving to re-immerse the black community into all aspects of the arts, providing more exposure to musicals, cabarets, art exhibits, plays, symphonic concerts, and so much more. Too often, we in the Black Community view “entertainment” as just R&B, Hip Hop, and TV/Film. I’m passionate about providing spaces for Black voices to be heard by Black ears, making sure that our stories do not continue to become diluted due to a discomfort of our truth. Creating safe spaces for minority youth to find their voice within the arts is something I plan to accomplish soon, as well, thanks to my HBCU. It is important to dismantle the notion that black youth cannot find success within the arts. This notion stifles their creative spirit causing students not to study their passions. Encountering countless students on Howard’s campus that have creative niches that their families discouraged them from pursuing has fueled my fire for advocacy in the arts.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

Cecily Dionne Davis: Black joy is the ability to exist unapologetically, walking through life as if it is your very own yellow brick road. Black joy is the ability to breathe without the stench of oppression and economic warfare. Black joy is not always sunflowers and rainbows, but the undeniable feeling that no matter what weapons are formed to kill, steal, and destroy, everything will be alright. Through family and faith, Black joy is heightened and spread to those who believe without a shadow of a doubt that perseverance is the largest test of time. With Black joy, I am able to spread light and love through an otherwise dark world.

Grant Bennett (he/him) | Morehouse College, Class of 2020

Grant Bennett is a proud native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Inspired by a conversation with local Fayetteville legend, J. Cole, Grant took a baseball and academic scholarship to Morehouse College. While in college, Grant was engaged in campus life as a student-athlete, a Ronald E. McNair Baccalaureate Scholar, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. In 2020, he graduated from Morehouse with a B.A. in Psychology.

While graduating during the pandemic, Grant founded a nonprofit organization, The Two-Six Project. The organization was created to assist marginalized youth through intentional programming and scholarship in his hometown of Fayetteville. The organization has provided over $200,000 in community support through its programming and over $10,000 in scholarships to local youth. The Two-Six Project has partnered with brands such as Google, the Charlotte Hornets, Nike, and Dreamville, in addition to hosting community events for professional basketball player Dennis Smith Jr. and social media influencer Vic Blends.

His background as an entrepreneur, consultant, producer, and community organizer has led Grant to engage in meaningful work with various brands and organizations. He has worked as a producer and consultant for the NFL, HBOMax, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also a business partner of social media influencer Vic Blends. In addition, Grant’s work has been highlighted by Forbes and President Bill Clinton. Grant was named the Morehouse representative for the 2021 Nike Yardrunner 2.0 campaign and to the 2022 Fayetteville Observer 40 Under 40 list. He currently works at Google as a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategist with a concentration in Analytics, Partnerships, and Storytelling.

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

Grant Bennett: Morehouse afforded me the opportunity to connect with so many amazing mentors and people. Our history offered me the perspective, strength, and mindset to start The Two-Six project, a nonprofit in my hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Furthermore my HBCU journey helped me produce a content series for Adobe around the HBCU experience. In addition, it provided me with the skills to work as a Diversity Strategist at Google.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

Grant Bennett: Black joy is the epitome of being able to express freedom and agency while exploring your existence unapologetically.

Arial Robinson (she/her) | North Carolina A&T State University, Class of 2023

Arial Robinson is a Multidisciplinary Artist & Senior Multimedia Journalism student at North Carolina A&T State University. A Charlotte, NC native, her southern background has been the driving force behind some of her most notable work. Within her studies she has dabbled across mediums like photography, writing, music curation, creative direction and product design. Arial is the youngest of only 4 to design an official Nike Dunk for HBCUs. Along with being the designer of the NC A&T Dunks, Arial is also the author of two books: The Modern Day Black Alphabet & Black Hair Care In Color.

Arial’s books have been recognized by New York Magazine, Business Insider and Dazed. She has used her personal projects as a catalyst for working with some of the largest brands on the planet. From Nike & Converse, to Beats By Dre and Instagram, Arial prioritizes authentic storytelling. She provides a Black Gen Z perspective that she hopes will inspire her peers to continue traditions and start new ones, through content creation.

Arial is now the editor-in-chief of the publication Soular World Magazine. Soular World Magazine is a Black American “everything” monthly mini magazine. Dedicated to taking a deeper dive into the world of regular people doing extraordinary things, Soular World Magazine is a publication where the child never grows up—where that inner youth follows us along our journey and allows us the space to explore, document and reflect. From fashion and lifestyle to arts and literature, Soular World Magazine shows the world is ours to discover.

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

Arial Robinson: Going to an HBCU has directly impacted my career. My first opportunity for an internship came from an HBCU alum. No matter the room, there is always someone advocating for me. People told me going into college that an HBCU wouldn’t prepare me for the real world. Those people didn’t realize that HBCUs are the real world. My university has allowed me to explore myself, fail, succeed & reach back to do the same for someone else. It’s a network that has more than prepared me to pursue a creative career after graduation.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

Arial Robinson: Black Joy to me is slow and patient. It’s the feeling of unclenching your jaw and relaxing your muscles. Whether it’s done because of music or the reassurance of your community, Black Joy is a unique feeling. Trauma is embedded within us and when we are allowed to breathe the air and touch the grass on our own terms in our own way, it is special and beautiful. Black Joy is slow and is always lingering within us. We just have to use it to our advantage because it is ours to have, hold, and protect. Black Joy is what our ancestors fought for & it is our duty to continue that fight.

CDK on the Mic (he/him) | North Carolina A&T State University, Class of 2021

A Native of Raleigh, North Carolina. Christian Kornegay, better known as CDK on the Mic, attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT).

CDK on the Mic began his career in 2017 when he started to host on-campus events at his college, then expanded his brand to host events at universities all across the state. His radio career started as an on-air personality at 102 Jamz, the Hip Hop station in Greensboro, North Carolina where his hard work and pure talent got him nominated for “Radio Personality of the Year.”

CDK on the Mic was named the #1 HBCU Host in America by HBCU Buzz. Next, CDK on the Mic picked up an internship with Warner Music Group and now works as the exclusive content curator for Hip Hip DX, reaching an audience of over 5 million. Stepping into sports, CDK on the Mic is an in-game host for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. Nick Cannon brought CDK on the Mic onto his national talk show, awarding him a full ride and canceling his student loans upon graduation.

BLM Foundation: How has attending an HBCU directed your steps moving forward in your career and path after college?

CDK: Attending an HBCU is where my passion met my purpose. Where I built the foundation for the platform that I have today. North Carolina A&T gave me my first voice. It’s also been the cornerstone for some of the most important moments in my career thus far: people that Nick Cannon reached out to paid my tuition in full, and he also let me know my work in the entertainment field isn’t going unnoticed. Using my influence at my HBCU has led me to adventure and excel in multiple workspaces basically giving me the keys to jumpstart my career.

BLM Foundation: What does Black joy mean to you?

CDK: Oftentimes, people focus on all of the trauma and oppression that we’ve had to undergo. Black joy is highlighting all of the achievements and successes of Black people. Black joy is creating and promoting a culture that allows our people to be happy, healthy and successful. Letting people know that, yes, our history is a part of us, but it does not define us.