NORFOLK, Va., Dec. 30, 2022 – The Commissioners representing the four (4) NCAA Historically Black Athletic Conferences (HBCUs), Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), have agreed to partner in more collaborative ways to strengthen the value of our HBCU conferences and to protect and amplify the HBCU brand. The Commissioners acknowledge the differences in division, size, and makeup, but value that our conferences are the same in our foundation and mission to serve and advance students and athletes at HBCUs.
The power of each of our brands and institutions mobilizes Black culture, tourism, and communities. In 2017, the United Negro College Fund documented in its HBCUs a collective economic impact report that HBCUs are contributing $14.8 billion in economic impact. Collectively, in our membership footprint from North to south, the four Power Conference institutions’ economic value ranges from $22 million to $1.5 billion in our HBCU communities. We agree that we are here to advance the mission of our institutions as members of the NCAA and to support the center of what brings us all together, Black College Sports!
Over the past three years, the four conferences have met and worked together collaboratively to identify immediate and future opportunities that align with our conference strategies. This includes our partnership with the NFL, the Black College Hall of Fame, the NCAA office of Inclusion, championships, and selective events that support our mission and student-athletes in higher education.
Additionally, both the Commissioners of the CIAA and SIAC attend and support their colleagues at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge and the Celebration Bowls. These events have inspired SIAC Commissioner Holloman and CIAA Commissioner McWilliams-Parker to discuss future Division II HBCU initiatives to enhance pre- and post-season scheduling and competition and programming. The leadership of the CIAA and the SIAC Board of Directors met in the summer and agreed that we must identify opportunities to advance our brand and institutions collectively.
The Commissioners of the Four (4) Power HBCU Conferences will continue to meet monthly with a focused agenda to share ideas, advocate in spaces that impact our conferences and institutions, develop new opportunities, expand current programming, and mostly engage all four conference members and leadership where applicable. We have already shared in the experience of inviting our members to our individual events and programs to support mental health, leadership, career development, and more.
For the 2022 Women Leaders in College Sports, the four commissioners sponsored and acknowledged Dr. Javaune Adams- Gaston, president at Norfolk State, and appointed an ex-officio member of the NCAA Board of Governors, as a Title IX50 Trailblazer representing the Four Power HBCU Conferences. We agree that we have a collective work and responsibility in this season to use our platform, passion, and presence to advocate and support the mission of our HBCU institutions and student-athletes in higher education.