HBCU Students To Attend President Obama’s South by South Lawn Event

Black Wall Street and American Underground Partner to Bring Local College Students to First-Ever South by South Lawn Event at White House to Promote Diversity Within Technology Ecosystem

Black Wall Street, a Durham-based organization dedicated to increasing the number of minority entrepreneurs who successfully grow scalable businesses, and American Underground, a Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub, will host a cohort of fourteen students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) for a trip to the White House for South by South Lawn (SXSL) on Monday, October 3, 2016.

Described as a festival of “ideas, art and action,” SXSL is presented by the American Film Institute (AFI), the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), the National Park Foundation, and South by Southwest®. President Obama is scheduled to join actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio for a panel during the day’s events.

The White House received over 20,000 applications to attend South by South Lawn. The BWS application stood out, as it was an extension of a campaign launched earlier in the year, Black Wall Street: Spring Break, which includes a charge to area HBCUs to send more students to the annual South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, TX. SXSW offers exposure to conversations around innovation and technology trends, career opportunities, and the power of networking. BWS cofounder Talib Graves-Manns promoted his submission to attend SXSL on Twitter, and was contacted by White House staff for additional information, netting the invitation for the group of students and BWS cofounding team.

The students attend Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and Shaw University.


SXSL will be live-streamed on whitehouse.gov and facebook.com/whitehouse. Event hashtag is #SXSL. Follow event hosts on social: Black Wall Street – @Black_WallSt (Twitter) and @TheBlackWallStreet (Facebook); American Underground – @AmerUnderground (Twitter) and @AmericanUnderground (Facebook) .

About Black Wall Street
Black Wall Street (BWS) celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship within diverse, multicultural communities. Created in honor and as an extension of what was built during the heyday of Durham, NC’s Parrish Street, BWS creates conversations and promotes thought leadership around diversity, technology and entrepreneurship. No matter the city or decade, the spirit of Black Wall Street remains the same – building communities and wealth through business ownership. BWS is the remix. Same vision. New day.

About American Underground
The American Underground, a Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub, is where smart startups grow and thrive. Deemed the “Startup Capital of the South,” American Underground is located in downtown Durham, NC. The American Underground is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC). American Underground guests include TechCrunch), TIME Magazine, NPR’s Marketplace Tech, The Atlantic, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, G.E.’s Jeff Immelt, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and investor Steve Case among others.