Oprah Winfrey to speak at sold-out UNCF luncheon in Charlotte

The media mogul has several connections with Charlotte’s HBCU, Johnson C. Smith University.

Oprah-Winfrey-UNCF-luncheon-keynote-speaker

Oprah Winfrey. Photo courtesy of UNCF

Billionaire media mogul, philanthropist and HBCU graduate, Oprah Winfrey, will be in Charlotte to keynote the sold-out 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon on Sept. 28 at the Westin in Uptown.

The United Negro College Fund‘s signature event benefits students in North Carolina and the historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that support them. The luncheon, named after longtime UNCF supporter Dr. Maya Angelou, honors local women making a positive impact in the Charlotte community.

Honorees include:

  • Tiffany Eubanks-Sanders, senior vice president and market sales executive – Bank of America
  • Madelyn L. Caple, regional managing director and senior vice president – Wells Fargo
  • Tish Guerin, director of player wellness – Carolina Panthers; owner – Transitions Management Group
  • Joan Zimmerman, CEO – Southern Shows, Inc.

“We are elated to have Oprah Winfrey join us as we continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Angelou and celebrate 75 years of impact at UNCF,” Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Her commitment to the next generation of leaders — especially young women of color — mirrors our efforts in closing the educational gap to ensure better futures for us all.”

Winfrey, a 1986 Tennessee State University graduate, has donated millions to HBCU education through her scholarship endowment and other charitable donations.

“Oprah Winfrey inspires us to live a purposeful life,” said Tiffany Jones, area development director, UNCF Charlotte. “As the Charlotte community comes together to raise a half a million dollars to send students to and through college, we are guaranteed an electrifying day for a great cause — education.”

Winfrey also has a connection to Charlotte’s only HBCU, Johnson C. Smith University. Three students from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa enrolled at JCSU. In 2016, Winfrey gave the commencement speech at two of the students’ graduations. She made a guest appearance during the school’s 2017 commencement when the last of her students graduated.


Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.

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