CIAA Supports Community Through Multiple Service and Diversity & Inclusion Events

Conference and sponsors slated to host community-related events during tournament

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) continuously supports the Charlotte community, as well as the communities of its member institutions. Annually, off-the-court service events designed to positively impact children, teens, and adults are included during the annual CIAA Basketball Tournament.

Because of such acts of kindness, leadership and generosity shown by both the CIAA and Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams, the Samaritan’s Feet co-founder, president and CEO, Manny Ohonme, appointed Commissioner to their Board of Directors. 

“Samaritan's Feet is honored to add Commissioner McWilliams to its Board of Directors,” said Ohonme. “Her desire to empower, educate, and help children in need all over the world is evident through her leadership with the CIAA and willingness to serve others alongside Samaritan's Feet.”

“I’m grateful to be appointed to the Samaritan’s Feet Board of Directors, an organization dedicated to creating a world where zero shoeless children live,” said McWilliams. “We look forward to partnering with this organization and Coke Zero for the 4th Annual CIAA Shoes of Hope project, which will serve children in Charlotte who are in need. Last year, over 700 pairs of shoes and socks were provided.” 

Shoes of Hope will be held at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary on Friday, Mar. 2 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Volunteer opportunities for this event have been filled and the event is closed to the public.

The following service-driven programs will also be hosted by the conference and key sponsors including Toyota, Food Lion, and Nationwide during the 2018 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament:

Diversity & Inclusion Panel and Reception

On Thursday, Mar. 1 at 5:30 p.m., CIAA Diversity & Inclusion Panel Discussion and VIP Reception will take place at the Ritz Carlton. Panelists include: Dr. Katrice A. Albert, NCAA Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources; Dr. Makola Abdullah, President of Virginia State University; Stacey Holman, Producer of Emmy Award-winning films and adjunct professor at The City College of New York; and student-athletes, Jaylaan Dillard of Johnson C. Smith University and Tony Credle of Fayetteville State University. The panel discussion will be moderated by CIAA Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Nevin Caple.

The discussion will center around an excerpt from the "Tell Them We are Rising" film, of which Holman is a producer, regarding student activism and the relationship to education on HBCU campuses, connecting the past to the present to the future.

In the wake of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 during 2017, the CIAA’s continued outreach and actions around inclusion earned the conference national recognition with the NCAA/MOAA Award of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion Honorable Mention.

CIAA Women’s Empowerment Brunch presented by Nationwide

In partnership with the conference, Nationwide will host its invitation-only Women’s Empowerment Brunch, featuring a national celebrity guest and more than 200 CIAA student-athletes, officials, sponsors, and regional leaders. 

Food Lion #BallinOnHunger Initiative/Teen Summit

Each time the hashtag #BallinOnHunger is used on a social media platform, Food Lion will donate five meals, up to 24,000 meals, to local families in CIAA communities.

Food Lion will host a Teen Summit on Thursday, Mar. 1 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. Attendees will hear from high-energy, motivational speaker Jacotron Potts with The Potts Group on how to change your language from a social to professional setting, watch a “Do’s & Don’ts” Fashion Show, as well as participate in trivia. The summit is free, fun, interactive and open to the public. 

Toyota JCSU Activation

As part of the tournament, Toyota Green Initiative will partner with CIAA member institution, Johnson C. Smith University for a community project on Thursday, Mar. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. Volunteers will revitalize the JCSU Sustainability Village Garden through gardening activities and tree seedling preparation. Participants will receive a t-shirt, lunch and certificate of completion for service credit. This event is free and open to the public. 

In addition to these named events, the conference will host an Education Day reaching a record-high number of 8,500 middle and high school students and a Career Expo with professional development interactive sessions

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To be among the first to hear tournament announcements including more celebrity appearances and tickets for ancillary events, download the CIAA Basketball Tournament mobile app via iTunes and Google Play. Information about purchasing general tickets, courtside tickets and suites can be found at

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