The Black-owned spirits brand Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey announced the launch of its HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge. This nationwide initiative aims to raise $1 million dollars for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program kicked off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and will extend through Black History Month and Women’s History Month in February and March, respectively. The raised funds will be distributed amongst the country’s top 58 ranked HBCUs to use as they see fit.
HBCUs make up less than 3% of college institutions, but they enroll 10% of all African American students, and produce almost 20% of all African American graduates. These graduates secured high-income jobs, making up 40% of Black judges, 50% of Black doctors and lawyers, and 40% of Black engineers. Underfunding of HBCUs leads to lower graduation rates due to student debt and lack of resources. The Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned Challenge launched on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and will extend through Women’s History Month as an homage to Spelman College, a historically Black women’s college and the number one ranked HBCU in America.
From January 16 to March 31, 2023, consumers will be able to participate in the challenge in one of four ways:
- For every Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned sold at participating bars and restaurants, one dollar will be donated to the challenge.
- Uncle Nearest will donate one dollar for each bottle of whiskey sold at participating online and brick-and-mortar retail stores.
- ReserveBar will sell Old Fashioned Cocktail Kits, featuring a bottle of Uncle Nearest as well as syrup and bitters from Hella Cocktail Co., the Black-owned bitters and soda company. For every kit sold, both Uncle Nearest and ReserveBar will donate one dollar to the challenge.
During the time period, consumers are encouraged to submit a photo of a homemade Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned at www.oldfashionedcocktail.com. The company will donate one dollar for each image received.
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