One of the many things I love about being a Disney cast member is our company’s commitment to supporting diversity and education in Central Florida. It was evident this past weekend with the West Lakes Family Day and other events related to the 11th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, which featured two football teams from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in an early season match up.
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge kicked off Thursday at Evans High School in Orlando with the ESPN 101 career panel. Fellow cast member Latonya Johnson was one of five panel members who shared their career paths in the sports industry. Hundreds of students were encouraged to dream, set goals, discover educational opportunities and explore career possibilities.
On Saturday in Magic Kingdom Park, HBCU pride was on full display as the bands from South Carolina State University (SCSU) and University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB) high-stepped their way through the park, along with their school presidents who were grand marshals for the day.
Prior to Sunday’s football game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, Disney teamed up with local nonprofit LIFT Orlando to host West Lakes Family Day, showcasing the heritage of six historic African-American neighborhoods near the stadium. During the community event, neighbors and new friends enjoyed food and entertainment, along with a special visit from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Even though the SCSU Bulldogs defeated the UAPB Golden Lions 35-7 before thousands of spectators in the rain, we all had a great time celebrating diversity and education.