Cast Conversations: Disney HBCU Alumni Talk Finding Community Beyond the Yard

Sherrell Wilson

by , Sr. Recruiter, Disney Programs

“A place where everybody is somebody.”

That’s the Grambling State University motto and a common theme being part of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. I spent my undergraduate years at Grambling, one of the nation’s more than 100 HBCUs, where I became immersed in a rich and vibrant community connected by culture, perseverance, and history.

Here, I was struck by the sense of unity and pride that permeated every aspect of life at the university. From the banners and murals celebrating our Black excellence to the student-led organizations focused on promoting social justice and community engagement, I quickly realized that I was living in a moment of Black history.

Fast forward to today, I’m frequently reminded that in the HBCU community, I will always find a place of belonging – and like many HBCU alumni, a “place where everybody is somebody.” From homecoming reunions to connecting with HBCU students and alumni through Disney on the Yard, I’m constantly reminded of the belonging I felt while at Grambling State University.

So, of course, I couldn’t close out Black History Month without unpacking the cultural and personal significance of HBCUs! I invited Clark Atlanta University alumna, Dawnyell Bowen, director of account and project management, over to Art of Shaving in Disney Springs to have a vulnerable conversation about finding community and safe spaces outside our HBCUs and an honest dialogue about being Black at Disney.

Check out the latest installment of Cast Conversations!


  • Welcome to the blog Mr. Sherrell!

  • Thank you all so much for your ideas. My former pastor and my church has always taught me that Black History is 24/7, 365. I used to chaperone HBCU college tours with Trinity Higher Education Corporation. If you need any assistance with college recruitment, I will be more than happy to work with you. Thank you again!

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