CIAA fans (Photo courtesy of CIAA)

A free celebration for all

CIAA Super Saturday is full of attractions that showcase celebrities, giveaways and performances. Free events are geared toward fun for alumni, fans and the community and run from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Charlotte Convention Center.

“Outside of the competitive action on the basketball court, CIAA Toyota Fan Fest and Super Saturday are two of the most exciting events during tournament week,” Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said in a statement.

Events include:

• The UFIT HS Cheer Champions will be performing their stomp and shake routines throughout Super Saturday. Later in the evening, the Step Show takes place from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. with the theme: StepOff, School versus School.

• The Livingstone Phi Beta Sigma’s will be the main fraternity featured at this year’s StepOff.

• The CIAA Cheerleading Exhibition will showcase a variety of HBCU cheerleading squads.

• Miss CIAA will be crowned in a program sponsored by grocery giant, Food Lion.

• The newly famous rap group Ayo & Teo will perform live to finish off the night.

For more information on Super Saturday, visit

— Alexis Wray

Greek Events to close out CIAA weekend

CIAA will close the weekend with an exciting lineup of Greek events.

• The Stepshow “Throwdown” Greeks versus Greeks will be held on Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m. This year’s step show will feature returning champs Phi Beta Sigma (Livingstone College), Delta Sigma Theta (UNC-Chapel Hill), and many more. The event will be hosted by Wild ‘N Out comedian DC Young Fly, Power 98 No Limit Larry and Jay Dukes.

• A Greek Day event Friday, sponsored by Food Lion, will be held in the Spectrum Center during the 7 p.m. game.  A Greek stroll-off will also take place.

• On Saturday, a High School Step Show will feature 10 of the best high school step teams. This event will be hosted by Wild ‘N Out comedians Darren Brand and Chico Bean and 103 Streets Mario “The Mic Man,”  6:30 p.m. in the Charlotte Convention Center

In 2017, the step teams commanded the audience’s attention with their creative tributes to Black History Month. Teams drew inspiration  from Tyler Perry’s Madea, “Showtime at the Apollo,” and the R&B group New Edition.

• Greek day parties on Saturday include one from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. hosted by Midwest Greek Lifestyle and Greek Shenanigans3 at Desano (1500 E 3rd St.) and a free Greek Day party from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Epicentre to welcome Divine Nine members.

— Quenci Bradley

Explore networking events for CIAA week

Night life may take the crown for the best part of the CIAA experience, but networking events are also a staple during the week-long celebration. Here’s a sampling:

• Blogging Beauties Network, a talented group of marketing professionals, presents the Media Girls On Tour,  a networking event for writers, reporters, and entertainment enthusiasts to engage, build, and connect with fellow women in media: Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

• Dutchess, from Black Ink Crew, is hosting a sip and paint event. “Sip, Think, & Ink” is designed to empower guests and provide a safe environment to engage in challenging conversations such as body shaming, domestic abuse, self-love, and a lot more:  Thursday, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

• The National Society of Black Engineers will host a welcoming mixer that is open to all business professionals: Wednesday, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. at Vapiano (201 South Tryon St.) in uptown Charlotte.

To learn more about parties and networking events during CIAA week, click here for more information.

— Kiara Stokes

Alexis Wray, from Crumpler, NC, is a sophomore multimedia student; Quenci Bradley, from Durham, NC, is a junior multimedia journalism major; Kiara Stokes, from Greenville, NC, is a senior journalism student.