Uncle Nearest, HBCU

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Launches HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge To Raise $1.4M

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has initiated its second annual HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, designed to generate funds for HBCUs.

According to a press release, on Jan. 15, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, recognized as the leading Black-owned spirits brand globally, initiated its second annual HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, a nationwide campaign to generate funds for historically Black colleges and universities. The company has set a goal of raising $1.4 million by Juneteenth.

Federal officials revealed last year that 16 states had been underfunding their HBCUs by nearly $13 billion over the past three decades, according to analysis by the U.S. Department of Education. Tennessee, Uncle Nearest’s home state, emerged as the biggest culprit in underfunding its school’s land grants.

Through the HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, Uncle Nearest seeks to raise financial support and put a spotlight the pivotal role played by HBCUs, which constitute less than 3% of colleges, in dismantling barriers to degree completion and postgraduate success.

HBCU graduates contribute significantly, making up 50% of Black doctors and Black attorneys, 40% of Black engineers and Black members of Congress, and 80% of Black judges.

Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest, expressed the brand’s commitment to education, stating, “Before we sold our first bottle of Uncle Nearest, we were already funding the college education of Nearest Green’s descendants.” Weaver emphasized the joy derived from supporting students’ lives through education, and wants to continue this tradition annually and with increasing contributions.

Participation in the Uncle Nearest HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge is open to the public until June 19, 2024, with several avenues for engagement. Individuals can contribute by ordering an Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned at partnered bars and restaurants, which brings a $1 donation for every cocktail ordered.

Purchasing any bottle of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey from participating online and brick-and-mortar retail stores will also result in a $1 donation per bottle. For those interested in contributing more substantially, purchasing an Old Fashioned Bundle through ReserveBar is available, with a generous $2 donation for each bundle purchased. Moreover, participants can actively participate by submitting a photo of a homemade Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned to www.oldfashionedcocktail.com, where a $1 donation will be made for each entry.

Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of master distiller Nearest Green and a four-time Master Blender of the Year, acknowledged the significance of the challenge, stating, “Uncle Nearest gives a lot, with ‘pulling as we climb’ being part of our DNA right from the start.” Butler expressed gratitude to the brand’s extensive network of partners and participants who are making an extraordinary impact through their collective effort.

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