Green Trees of the Forest

Black&Ivy League

Highlighting the top leaders & professionals from the elite 107 historically black colleges & universities

Who We Are

A distinguished league of change-makers and trailblazers impacting the landscape of careers and business.

The term “Ivy League” refers to a group of long-established colleges and universities in the eastern U.S. having high academic excellence, promising career futures, and social elitism. Therefore, the term Black and Ivy League is a thing and should be recognized on a larger scale.

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Celebrating our rich black culture and educational history and heritage.

Black & Ivy League (BIL) is a distinguished network of change-makers and trailblazers impacting the landscape of careers and business. The mission of the Black & Ivy League organization is to celebrate and create awareness of the elite alum from the 107 HBCUs.


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Black & Ivy League Defined

When we say BLACK and Ivy League we are not referring to the ancient eight Universities known to the world as Ivy League Schools. We’re referring to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There are 107 HBCUs in the United States that are identified by the U.S. Department of Education. Within those 107, at least 14 can and should be recognized as Ivy League - but to the public they are not. Typically, when you hear “black and ivy league” you automatically think of black alumni of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, but why don’t we in the same breath think of Hampton, Howard, Fisk, Spelman, Florida A&M, or Morehouse?

HBCUs are breeding grounds for excellence in character and community. Our annual list of the TOP 20 Professionals from HBCUs honors the wealth of talent and education from these elite institutions.

How it works / The Process

Editors and subject matter experts consider a variety of factors to shortlist applicants that are shared with a five-judge panel who will select the final 20 honorees. These factors include, but are not limited to: innovation, social impact, community involvement and career/business potential.

Who’s Who / The List

Selecting 20 honorees across five (5) categories, accepting and reviewing only 20 applications from each category per year. Of the 100 applicants, judges will honor (2) current HBCU graduate students and (2) HBCU alums.

Connection is key

We provide a platform for leaders and professionals from 107 elite HBCUs. Our mission is to promote professional development, social and economic change, educational impact, and civic engagement in our communities.

Are You Eligible? / The Criteria

Applications must include:

  • A copy of an unofficial transcript or diploma from an accredited HBCU.
  • A brief statement of why you should be honored. The statement should include specific examples of how you exemplify the qualities of a top HBCU professional in your industry. Examples include:
    • High ethical and moral standards
    • Demonstrating a lifelong commitment to Black Excellence
    • Displaying core values, including honesty, integrity, compassion, accountability, trust, and respect for others
    • Making a visible impact in BIPOC communities

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Application timeline/fees:

  • Applications Open: January 15, 2023
    • Inaugural fee: $107.00
  • Applications Close: March 18, 2023
  • Honorees Announced: April 10, 2023


Honorees will receive a Black & Ivy League digital badge that can be displayed on websites and LinkedIn; a gift box filled with a keepsake, a t-shirt and more; along with recognition in the digital and print May/June issue of Sogne’ + Swank Magazine.

All applicants are able to take advantage of the benefits including gaining access to the online Black & Ivy League directory of professionals and current students and a discount code to use in our Black and Educated (B.A.E.) Shop.

Welcome to Your BIL Membership Benefits

  • Increased visibility and exposure to new perspectives
  • Authentic mentoring relationships with support from peers
  • Curated networking opportunities with strength in numbers
  • Access to discounted services and vendors
  • Exclusive member-only events

Curating Networking

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Event Tickets
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Discounted Services & Vendors

Exclusive Member Only Events

Member Only Community


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