Mary J. Blige and Pepsi have announced a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) scholarship with the return of the Strength Of A Woman Festival and Summit. The initiative is in alignment with the brand’s focus on creating opportunities for connection and growth within the Atlanta community and beyond. The recipient — a Black woman — will be announced on the Pepsi HBCU tour this fall.
The PepsiCo x Mary J. Blige Strength of a Woman Scholarship is part of the brand’s $200,000 donation, which also goes towards funding local organizations. Selected platforms include Silence the Shame, City of Refuge, Right Hand Foundation, and Earth Girl ATL.
“The whole mission of this festival is to celebrate and advocate for Black women,” expressed the My Life singer in a statement. “So to have Pepsi, show up and show out in the way they do is overwhelming. With their support for the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit, we are able to pay it forward in so many impactful ways and to be able to grant an HBCU scholarship for a deserving student is nothing short of incredible.”
In its second year, the Strength Of A Woman Festival and Summit brings attendees to Georgia’s capital on Mother’s Day weekend and includes activities to entertain, elevate, educate and empower.
“The Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit has proven to be a powerful platform for Pepsi and its brands to create opportunities that bring long-lasting change to amplify and elevate women,” explained Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations and Multicultural Development, PepsiCo.
“This year, with even more events for fans to experience, we want to recognize, celebrate, and support the voices of the community, from the incredible on-stage talent, including the iconic Mary J. Blige, to the on-the-ground local restauranteurs and entrepreneurs whose vision and passion inspire others.”
In addition to the scholarship, the beverage brand and the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul have established a day of programming dedicated to spotlighting women whose contributions to culture and community are designed to drive long-term impact.
This includes Pepsi Dig-In, the brand’s platform designed to drive access, business growth, and awareness for Black-owned businesses. Through this effort, attendees will have the opportunity to taste signature dishes from Atlanta eateries including Ms. Icey’s Kitchen, Gocha’s Breakfast Bar, Twisted Soul, and Local Green Atlanta.
PepsiCo will also bring together local female entrepreneurs through its Stacy’s Rise Project, and Black change-makers through its Doritos SOLID BLACK platform with a dinner to elevate and celebrate the women who have made an impact internally at the company and externally within the community.