The inaugural FABA Festival takes over Barbados during Juneteenth weekend 

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  • Published on February 20, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Culture

The “For Alumni, By Alumni” Festival takes over Barbados during Juneteenth weekend with four days of events celebrating HBCU culture. 

HBCUs will take over Barbados for the first time at the inaugural FABA Fest.

“The For Alumni, By Alumni” Festival will make its way to the island June 15–18.

The first-of-its-kind destination festival will “celebrate and unite the alums of Historically Black Colleges and Universities” by combining the spirit of the HBCU experience with the stunning beauty and rich African-diasporic culture of Barbados.

According to the festival’s website, the producers of The Takeover, one of the longest-operating and largest African-American travel club events, have plans to bring “the Yard” to the beach.

The festival’s founder and Howard University alumna, LaChanda Ricks shared her excitement about the festival with BOSSIP.

“If you’re an HBCU grad, a spouse, friend or relative of a grad, have been positively impacted by or support the mission of the HBCUs, we invite you to join us in Barbados for what we know will be a beautiful and bold celebration of the culture and Black excellence.”

“There’s nothing quite like the HBCU experience,” she added. “And there will be nothing quite like this festival. It’s a celebration of freedom, and that can happen anywhere. We can celebrate our freedom to be anywhere in the world.”

The festival, taking place during Juneteenth weekend, has significance. It has intentions of strengthening the bond between Black Americans in the United States and residents of the island. BOSSIP states a portion of the proceeds will fund HBCU student scholarships, helping further access to education for Black students.

The four-day weekend has a full itinerary, including a golf tournament, a Divine Nine day party, daily empowerment sessions and a Battle of The Boats.

Ricks, a former “Miss Howard,” stated the Battle of The Boats will serve as one of the week’s most significant philanthropic events.

BOSSIP shared her statement at a local press conference, “With the battle of the boats, we had this objective to determine who has the livest boat but how do we make that real, and how do we bring out all the things that we love about HBCUs?”

“That’s when we decided it would be an opportunity to raise funds,” Ricks continued. ”Each university that decides to enter the battle of the boats will have a fundraiser for weeks leading up to the battle of the boats and the university that raises the most funds will be crowned the winner, and 100% of proceeds will go directly towards scholarships for their institution. We wanted to have the fun, but we also wanted to remain true to who we are.”

A full schedule of events, lodging information, and ticket prices are available on FABAFest.com.

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