This Sunday marks the start of HBCU Week in Wilmington, now in its seventh year, featuring a week of family-friendly events and activities commemorating HBCUs. 

HBCU Logo 2023Mayor Mike Purzycki and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, the city's HBCU ambassador, have unveiled the itinerary for Wilmington's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week. Beginning Sunday, September 17, and continuing through Sunday, September 24, 2023, there will be a prayer brunch, a 5K, a Middle School College Tour, an R&B concert, a panel discussion, a conversation on social justice, a college fair, a comedy show, a block party, and a battle of the bands. The incredible lineup for this year offers attendees a well-rounded experience with a variety of events, including the college fair, a comedy show with comedians like Chris Spencer and Bill Bellamy, and a concert with artists like Fabolous and Monica, in addition to thought-provoking panel discussions and the eagerly anticipated HBCU Battle of the Bands. 

The annual celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, also known as HBCU Week, is held in Wilmington's downtown area to honor and recognize the contributions and achievements of HBCUs. These institutions have played a crucial role in African Americans' education and culture for more than a century. The purpose is to encourage possibilities for students to pursue higher education and to increase public awareness of the significance of these institutions. Additionally, it offers a discussion space for the opportunities and problems that HBCUs face in the current educational environment.  

With the support of Mayor Purzycki, Delaware State University alumna Ashley Christopher founded HBCU Week in 2017 to educate local high school students about the history, culture, and academic offerings of HBCU colleges and universities and to inspire them to pursue higher education. Since its launch, more than 6,500 local students have been given admission possibilities by participating HBCUs since the program's start, and they have received more than $60 million in scholarships. 

This year’s 25 participating HBCUs and 10 participating corporations provide a significant opportunity for students to engage directly with college recruiters and corporate partners. This one-on-one interaction provides a unique chance for students to discuss admissions, scholarships, and potential internship opportunities. Additionally, a Wilmington-based student who has chosen to attend an HBCU will once again receive Mike Purzycki Changemaker Scholarship for $10,000 during the 2023 HBCU Week. 


Spotlight on Black Owned Businesses

Breakfast at Blume

  • 4304 North Market St.

Experience the sophistication and charm of a classic landmark Post House in North Wilmington, Delaware. Offering up a unique mix of stylish, airy bar and restaurant, we present…

Juice Joint 2.0

  • 102 S. Union St.

The Juice Joint is a vibrant spot along the scenic Riverfront Wilmington. Serving up freshly pressed juices, smoothies, and acai bowls, and other tasty offering such as their…

Morgan's of Delaware

  • 222 Delaware Ave.

Morgan’s of Delaware the women’s clothing boutique was founded by Martha Morgan over 43 years ago in the Trolley Square area of Wilmington. In 2022, Morgan’s of Delaware brings…

Town & Shore Handcrafted

  • 221 N Market St.

This fine leather goods boutique is tucked into the heart of Wilmington’s historic merchant district. The shop is located two blocks from the beautiful Wilmington riverfront…

DE Slider Co.

  • 204 W 10th

DE Slider Co is a unique approach to your classic favorite burger joint. We believe there is a strong difference between eating and dining, and we are here to share that…

Harp and Hare

  • Throughout New Castle County

Harp and Hare is a luxury picnic and events company. We set up luxury picnics in any DE location (park, beach, private property). We also set up romantic rooms in hotels or…

Milk & Honey Cafe & Gallery

  • 807 N Union St.

Milk & Honey is a premiere community Cafe and Gallery in the historic West End Neighborhood in Wilmington. We serve coffee, tea, smoothies, and breakfast/lunch menu.

2023 HBCU Week Schedule is as follows: 

Prayer Brunch featuring Rev. Dawn S. Christopher 

Sunday, September 17th
The Queen Wilmington, 500 North Market Street 
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Doors open at 12 p.m.) 

HBCU Week 5K

Monday, September 18th
Rockford Park – Lookout Drive 
5 p.m. (Registration begins at 4 p.m.) 

Middle School College Tour 

Tuesday, September 19thHBCU Concert
Delaware State University, 1200 North DuPont Highway, Dover 
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

HBCU Week Happy Hour

Wednesday, September 20th
DECO Wilmington, 111 W. 10th Street
4 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Concert featuring Fabolous and Monica 

Wednesday, September 20th
The Queen, 500 North Market Street 
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) 

“My HBCU Experience” Panel Discussion 

Thursday, September 21st
Howard High School of Technology, 401 East 12th Street 
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) 

A Conversation on Social Justice with Ashley Christopher and Ben Crump HBCU Social Justice

Thursday, September 21st
The Wilmington Library, 10 East 10th Street 
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

HBCU College Fair 

Friday, September 22nd
The Chase Fieldhouse, 401 Garasches Lane 
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Comedy Show featuring Chris Spencer and Bill Bellamy 

Friday, September 22nd
The Queen, 500 North Market Street 
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) 

HBCU Week Block Party  

Saturday, September 23rd
Downtown Wilmington - 10th Street between Market and Orange streets 
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

HBCU Battle of the Bands, featuring Delaware State University, Lincoln University (PA), Winston Salem State University, Virginia State University 

Sunday, September 24th
Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive 
2 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Gates open at 12:30 p.m.) 

For additional information and to purchase tickets please visit 
The application link for the Changemaker Scholarship will open September 23. To apply and review qualifying criteria visit