A look at the events planned for South Bend’s first official ‘HBCU Exchange’ weekend

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 3:31 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The city of South Bend is preparing for a big week featuring a first of its kind “HBCU Exchange.”

This is all happening ahead of Tennessee State’s visit to town, as the Tigers are the first-ever Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to face the Fighting Irish on the gridiron.

Our own Joshua Short spoke with Brian Frazier, Michiana native and founder of the Frazier Kid Foundation. The 2002 Tennessee State alum says he began organizing this four-day event, along with several partners and sponsors, as soon as he saw TSU on the schedule in 2022.

“So, we came up with the idea. Really, we just took a template from an HBCU homecoming,” Frazier said. “Every HBCU homecoming, you may have comedy shows, old school concerts, day parties, night parties, parades, tailgates, the game, Sunday you may have a gospel concert. So, we just took that template and we said, ‘Let’s try to recreate it in a small fashion in South Bend.’”

Frazier says this string of days will be a literal exchange of cultures between the universities, their communities and the people within them.

“Even in 2023, I’m looking on Facebook and some people in South Bend simply don’t know what an HBCU is,” Frazier said.

Frazier says many of the events he’s focusing on have to do with the kids and students in South Bend. The South Bend Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council helped bring many of his ideas to life, including a community tailgate.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said last year in a statement: “I’m thrilled we’re able to bring the Tigers and the Irish together for a weekend that will feature programs with over 20 combined national titles, the Aristocrat of Bands and the Band of the Fighting Irish.” Notre Dame is also planning a litany of events in relation to TSU’s historic visit.

Below is a list of events happening in and around South Bend as part of “The Official HBCU Exchange Weekend.”

Day 1 – Thursday, Aug. 31

Beauty In You Workshop: A panel, featuring local beauty professionals, aimed at boosting the self-confidence of girls from seventh to 12th grade, followed by a cheerleading clinic hosted by the TSU Cheerleaders.

Time: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Washington High School - 4747 W. Washington Street, South Bend

For more information on this event, click here.

Day 2 – Friday, Sept. 1

HBCU Panel Discussion and College Fair: Reps from HBCUs, including: Tuskegee, Grambling, Spelman, Howard, Alabama A&M, will speak with students as they help them navigate and explore potential educational pathways and discover the myriad of exciting offerings available at HBCUs. At this event, The Frazier Kid Foundation will cover the cost of the Black Common Application which will send students college apps to 66 colleges!

Time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Where: Faith Alive Ministries - 909 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend

For more information on this event, click here.

“Music in the Courtyard” Community Wide Pep Rally: WNDU’s Joshua Short and Brian Frazier will host a community pep rally. Pep rallies are a time of camaraderie, community, and culture. This event is not designed to bash the opposing team but to bring the community together in unity. It will feature routines from local dance and step teams, a performance from the TSU cheerleaders, a scholarship Giveaway and potentially a performance from the TSU Grammy Award winning Band. Bring a lawn chair!

Time: 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Where: Jon Hunt Plaza (Morris Performing Arts Center) - 211 N. Michigan Street, South Bend

The South Bend Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council presents “Beyond The Yard:” The step show will be hosted by Armar’rae Hill and Aja Krys. Divine Nine & teachers $5. Adults $10. Kids and students free.

Time: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Four Winds Field - 501 W. South Street, South Bend

Welcome to South Bend, A Tennessee State University Alumni Mixer: This is the TSU Alumni Mixer, with special appearance by President Glenda Glover! Event Parking is $5 a vehicle.

Time: 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Where: Century Center - 120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Boulevard, South Bend

To reserve spot, click here.

Day 3 – Saturday Sept. 2

South Bend NPHC, HBCU Community Experience Tailgate: Experience the food, dance, music, and fraternity & sorority life that the HBCU culture has to offer with members of the D9. This event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to delve into the heart of HBCU culture right here in South Bend! Dance to soulful beats and celebrate diversity and unity at this unforgettable celebration of HBCU heritage.

Time 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: Ivy Court Inn & Suites - 1404 Ivy Court, South Bend

SBNPHC, Bar Crawl: This is for 21 years old and older! The event, in partnership with the Downtown Dining Association, features bar specials, food vendors around downtown, and more! The event is ticketed! Connect with other Greeks, invite your frat, sorors, spouses and friends and get ready for a fun night of socializing while enjoying local food and beverages from 11 locally owned establishments downtown South Bend.

Time: 7:30 p.m. - Midnight

Where: Downtown South Bend

For tickets, click here.

Day 4 – Sunday Sept. 3

HBCU College Sunday Service: A powerful service a Faith Alive Ministries featuring the TSU cheerleaders, Divine 9, Food Trucks, Live DJ, Vendors and more.

When: 10:30 a.m.

Where: Faith Alive Ministries - 909 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend

For more information about guests, partners, and vendors, click here.

(Armar'rae Hill | hbcuexchangesb)

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