AT&T Dream in Black: Return of Rising Future Makers

Calling for submissions from HBCU students—the noisemakers, trailblazers and changemakers—building their communities and inspiring the world!

What’s the news?

AT&T* Dream in Black is gearing up for the second class of Rising Future Makers, a program designed to uplift and celebrate an esteemed class of 25 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are making a difference in their communities and campus.

Currently enrolled HBCU students, ages 18-25, can apply for this honor now through October 31 at 11:59 a.m. EST, by uploading a short video on to share how they’re pursuing their dreams and making an impact.

To build on the celebration of and for HBCU students, AT&T Dream in Black has joined with Black-owned media and entertainment company, Aux Cord Wars Live, to bring live experiences to five HBCU campuses throughout October that will include a Power and Influence panel centered around the entrepreneurial journey while attending an HBCU. The panel will feature HBCU Buzz Founder, Luke Lawal, and HBCU Pride Nation CEO and Founder, Travis Jackson.

AT&T is also bringing back One Solution’s “AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers” three-part  series to be hosted by notable HBCU alumnae and entertainment industry celebrities. The series premiere will run September 26 through October 31 on TV One and iOne Digital’s Madame Noire and GlobalGrind. The series will be produced for the second year by Relevé Entertainment, a leading Black female-owned production company.

Gia Peppers—an award-winning on-air talent, entertainment journalist, content creator, and podcaster—will also join the Dream in Black Rising Future Makers program as this year’s celebrity advocate.

Why is this important?

Known for celebrating both the culture and the creators who shape it, AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers reflects our continued commitment to empower diverse communities through uplifting programs, resources and storytelling. As a longtime supporter of HBCUs, this program provides us with another opportunity to give back to the Black community, inspire future leaders and dedicate resources toward initiatives that foster economic growth and innovation. AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers is also directly tied to our efforts in creating more connected communities and helping bridge the digital divide, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Through the program, honorees are awarded $5Gs ($5,000) presented by AT&T 5G and a 5G-enabled mobile phone with one year of AT&T service. They are also granted access to connections to Dream in Black partners and celebrity advocates, professional networks, and opportunities to support their dreams and ambitions.

What are people saying?

“AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers will once again amplify HBCUs and shine a light on students who are making positive contributions to our society,” said Michelle Jordan, chief diversity officer, AT&T. “I’m inspired by how these students authentically show up and represent their campus and their community, and we are proud to support their drive to lead through adversity and be the example for future generations.”

Becoming a Rising Future Maker has allowed me the opportunity to get even more of a jumpstart on the dreams and goals I have in my life,” stated 2021 Class Member, Rollin Jackson Jr. “As someone who is building their own leadership business, becoming a part of this program put me in rooms full of greatness that inspire me to continue taking all of my dreams to the next level.”

"As a product of an HBCU, Claflin University, I've always had an affinity for supporting our own,” said Aux Cord Wars CEO Jay Dukes. “Since I started working in the HBCU market upon graduation in 2010, serving HBCUs has always been my priority. By collaborating with AT&T's Rising Future Makers Campaign, we now get to give back to students who have a hunger and passion for impacting our community in a positive way. AT&T just gets it! We're so honored to be a part of this campaign." 

 “Urban One is excited to work again with AT&T and their Dream in Black Rising Future Makers program supporting HBCU students,” noted Jeff Meza, SVP, Head of One Solution. “AT&T’s continued commitment to support a platform for Black voices and stories speaks volumes about their commitment to the Black community at large; whether it's across our digital franchises under iOne Digital (NewsOne, Hello Beautiful, Madame Noire, GlobalGrind, Bossip, etc.) our Radio One promotional efforts or our extensive TV One broadcast reach, AT&T's collaboration with Black-owned companies like Urban One is vital to our long-term viability. We look forward to amplifying this message well beyond the HBCU homecoming season.”

To learn more about AT&T Dream in Black, visit


*About AT&T  

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