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In HBCU excellence news…

Gather your gang because there’s a fest “For Alumni, By Alumni” coming to an exotic locale on Juneteenth weekend.

The first-ever FABA Festival will debut in Barbados on June 15–18, 2023, and unite Historically Black Colleges and Universities alumni and allies for a celebration like none other.

FABA Fest 2023

Source: FABA Fest

BOSSIP got insider info on this experience coming to the island which boasts rich African diasporic culture, unique culinary offerings, pristine beaches, Black businesses, and rum.

FABA-For Alumni, By Alumni– will include unique events including a divine nine day party, yard fests with HBCU DJs, and the world’s first-ever battle of the boats where alumni associations will party at sea in HBCU spirit-decorated vessels.

Two BOTB winners will be selected; one for the most funds raised to donate back to their school and one for the “livest” cruise.

According to FABA fest founder/ Howard alumna LaChanda Ricks, the philanthropic portion of the boat battle stresses the importance of giving back to our alma maters.

“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?” asked Ricks during a press conference at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre.


Source: FABA Fest

“That’s when we decided it would be an opportunity to raise funds. 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,” she added.

Ricks also shared that FABA will be rooted in service, something her Takeover Travel Club always includes during their global excursions.

“I feel like what we’re trying to do in four days is capture the essence of the HBCU experience and core to that experience is service–excellence in service and giving back,” said Ricks “When you’re becoming a part of a destination, you wanna connect, you wanna do what you can to assist. That won’t end, that will only expand here at the festival.

“One morning will be dedicated to a community service initiative and then [we’ll have] a college fair,” she added.  “We want to make sure we are helping to create that pipeline not only from Barbados but from across the region of people coming to Historically Black Colleges to expand that excellence across the diaspora.”

Ricks personally told BOSSIP that with FABA she hopes to encapsulate the one-of-a-kind- HBCU experience she had while studying at The Mecca.


L to R: Shelly Williams, Chairman of the Board of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.; LaChanda Ricks, FABA Fest Founder;  Eusi Skeete, U.S. Director of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.; Tenisha Holder Senior Business Development Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc./ FABA Fest

Included in that was a homecoming moment when the former Miss Howard met fellow student Sean Combs’ aspiring rapper “friend” who turned out to be the Notorious B.I.G.

According to her, while a celeb experience like that is exciting, FABA fest attendees will be reminded of something equally as exhilarating; the spirit of excellence prevalent at our beloved institutions.

“When I think of Howard, I think of homecoming, I think of spring fest, I think of those times where we were on campus with so many celebs walking across the yard. But it wasn’t about them really, it’s about all the people around me,” said Ricks. “It’s more than the celebrities, the HBCU experience is about being surrounded by excellence at every corner.”

“It’s in our classrooms with professors that love us and care about us, it’s with our fellow students and alumni who are doing everything they can to succeed. It’s just everywhere around us and that’s the thing I will always take from Howard, it’s an expectation of excellence. We take that and push that out into the world.”

Will YOU be encompassing HBCU excellence at FABA Fest? 

Members of the media pose with LaChanda Ricks/FABA Fest


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