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Barbados boasts beautiful white sandy beaches and delectable cuisine, not to mention an impressive history and vibrant African diasporic culture. All these characteristics combined made Barbados an ideal setting for FABA Fest, an immersive HBCU destination experience. Howard University alumni and Travel Takeover Club founder LaChanda Ricks decided on Barbados for their inaugural trip after falling in love with its beauty during her previous travels. Here are several reasons why you should join LaChanda Ricks and other HBCU alumni on this adventure! 1. Reconnect with Your HBCU Family FABA (For Alumni, By Alumni) is an inaugural destination festival created to highlight HBCUs' vast cultural wealth and stellar alumni achievement. Taking place this Juneteenth weekend on Barbados, FABA provides a showcase for HBCU alumni to come together as one and celebrate all they offer their communities. LaChanda Ricks, founder and Howard University alumna, wanted her inaugural event to capture "the spirit of HBCUs," where students strive for great things. That is why she chose Barbados where she fell in love on a previous trip and knew it could showcase Black excellence. But the connection between HBCUs and Black America goes beyond the pride graduates feel in their schools; these institutions are vital centers for black joy. Family environments and places that serve as safe havens when students face difficult circumstances - deGregory says the HBCU community provides support that "lifts each other up." HBCUs play an essential role in the fight for equity and access to higher education, offering various pathways that lead to success; their graduates go on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners, engineers, executives and many other careers. "HBCUs deserve our support and consideration as essential pieces of society," deGregory says. HBCUs are pioneering innovative ways to aid Black communities, including offering financial-wellness training and offering new banking products such as mobile banking and neobanks. Such efforts are crucial, given that services for Black Americans vary considerably and that many live in poverty while many more are imprisoned than before. 2. Take in the Beauty of Barbados HBCU alumni have always taken pride in celebrating their culture; now, this June on an exotic island will give them even more reason. The Takeover, one of the longest-running African American travel club events, will launch FABA Fest (For Alumni, By Alumni), an inaugural destination festival designed specifically for alumni and allies from HBCUs. Set to debut in Barbados June 15-18th; its stunning beauty combined with rich African diasporic culture and American history will ensure attendees an unforgettable experience. HBCU alumni traveling together will have an unforgettable trip, connecting with each other as they experience the natural beauty and culture of Jamaica. Event producers have secured luxury resorts, spas and special fine dining experiences for their guests to experience during this trip. In addition, visitors will visit historical landmarks as they uncover Jamaica's distinctive food culture. LaChanda Ricks, founder of FABA Fest, made her choice to host its inaugural event in Barbados for several reasons. According to BOSSIP, when she visited this Caribbean island nation it became immediately clear it would make an ideal backdrop for her HBCU-themed destination celebration and also coincide with Juneteenth (an international holiday that celebrates slavery's end). Barbados is best-known for its rum, but the island offers more than that! Not only can visitors sample some amazing dishes like fish cakes and plantains; there's also roti (flatbread stuffed with seasoned meat), black cake and macaroni pie (the Bajan equivalent to mac-n-cheese). Plus there are arts and crafts produced on Barbados that make excellent gifts or souvenirs that attendees can bring home with them! 3. Experience the Culture Barbados is more than just another beach vacation; it offers the chance to immerse yourself in Caribbean culture. As one of the Caribbean islands, its inhabitants represent African, European, and West Indian influences in its rich heritage and cuisine - from beautiful pristine beaches to mouthwatering food you will surely find something to call your own here. If you want to experience the rich culture of Barbados, make a stop at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Home to several species of birds and turtles as well as an impressive plant collection and swimming pool offering panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea, this sanctuary will make an excellent stop in exploring Bajan Creole - an island dialect with elements drawn from both English and other African dialects. As part of your visit to Barbados, don't forget to stop at one or more of its historic landmarks. Pink Carlisle House near the harbor is famous for its Miami beach art deco aesthetic; while Parliament Building combines Gothic Revival architecture and British Colonial design. Be sure to explore Bajan music as well, whether its reggae, soca, jazz or any of the others! Bajan melodies can be heard playing throughout its streets and bars. FABA Fest will take over Barbados this Juneteenth weekend to bring alumni of HBCUs together with its stunning beauty, welcoming people and rich African diasporic culture. If you are interested in attending be sure to reserve your spot by visiting its official website - portion of proceeds from FABA Fest will help fund student scholarships at participating HBCUs! Don't miss out; subscribe to their mailing list so that they stay up-to-date about this incredible new event. 4. Network with Other HBCU Alumni As an HBCU alumnus, you're always part of a community. Everyone here works together to make sure you have an amazing experience - this network allows for lifelong friendships as well as professional contacts that come from attending an HBCU! Take full advantage of what being an HBCU graduate offers you. There has been a recent upsurge in interest towards historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), likely driven by multiple factors. One possible explanation could be due to an increasing presence of graduates from these HBCUs within politics - for instance Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris, Georgia state Rep Stacey Abrams (two time gubernatorial candidate), Herman Cain (former Republican presidential candidate). Furthermore, interest has grown again in Black culture and history which may explain this increase. HBCU alumni have left their mark on American society in various fields. From activism and business ventures to scientific innovations and advancements, alumni of HBCUs have left an impactful footprint across society. Marian Wright Edelman from Spelman College founded the Children's Defense Fund which protects child rights; Martin Luther King Jr from Morehouse College led the civil rights movement; while Katherine Johnson calculated Apollo 11's flight path on Earth's moon surface - just to name a few examples! FABA Fest will bring its spirit of collaboration and excellence to Barbados for the very first time, taking place June 15-18th 2023 and organized by Ricks of The Takeover Travel Club - one of the longest-running and largest African American travel clubs. It will bring "the yard" to Barbados while celebrating HBCUs unique cultural identity through Bajan vibes and top DJs from across HBCUs. 5. Experience the Culture of Barbados Barbados is known for its stunning culture. Renowned beaches, delicious cuisine and vibrant African diasporic culture make for an idyllic travel destination; and this June marks a major event: FABA Fest: For Alumni By Alumni is an event to recognize HBCU alumni achievements and celebrates Juneteenth-inspired destinations experiences like Barbados. Produced by the same people behind one of the longest-running and largest African American travel club events, The Takeover, FABA Fest is all about taking backyard festivities to beach life. LaChanda Ricks from Howard University tells BOSSIP she chose Barbados because it "represents Black excellence in so many areas." This June, HBCU graduates will come together for an unforgettable celebration that marries their alma mater pride with the beauty of Bajan Islands. Grads can enjoy taking in Bajan culture while socializing with fellow alums and their families as well as participating in several events like golf tournaments, polo matches and an HBCU homecoming-inspired beach tailgate party! The best part? All expenses will be covered by the HBCU Foundation, so everyone attending FABA Fest in Barbados won't miss out! Secure your spot today to attend this incredible experience starting June 15 and running until June 18! Click here now to register for this phenomenal opportunity!