The NFL is hosting the third annual NFL x HBCU Open House, bringing together stakeholders across Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and football landscapes to discuss NFL initiatives, areas of opportunity, and an aim to further strengthen relationships.
Participants from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will hear from NFL leadership and personnel, including representatives from football strategy, development, talent acquisition, experienceship programs and more.
"Our annual HBCU Open House is critical to the cultivation of diverse talent at every level of the league," said Arthur McAfee, NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations Policy, Education and Relationship Management. "The NFL is committed to providing opportunities, mentorship, and support to the students and alumni of HBCUs. Through this program, we are proud to highlight opportunities that exist on the business side of the industry and provide students with the full scope of what they can expect from a career at the NFL and other sports institutions."
In addition to the Open House, the NFL's Football Operations department will host a roundtable discussion moderated by NFL Network reporter and NFL.com senior writer, Steve Wyche and the four HBCU conference commissioners: Anthony Hollman (SIAC), Charles McClelland (SWAC), Jacqueline McWilliams (CIAA), and Sonja Stills (MEAC). The panelists will discuss Title IX (the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education), the landscape of sports at HBCUs, and the league's ongoing partnership with all four conferences.
"We are thrilled to be working again with the NFL to provide our students with the tools and information they need to thrive in the world of sports," said the HBCU conference commissioners. "We have successfully worked with the league to identify areas of opportunity for our individual HBCU conferences and as a result, thousands of HBCU students have participated in NFL programs over the years. We thank the NFL for their continued commitment to diversity and collaboration."
Since the partnership started between the NFL and the HBCU conferences in 2016, more than 3,000 HBCU students have participated in programs supported by the NFL's Football Operations department.
The HBCU Open House is the latest initiative championed by the league to support diversity in the sports industry. Recently, the NFL, NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), announced the roster of medical students who will participate in the inaugural season of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, which aims to increase and diversify the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine and help to diversify NFL club medical staff.