An indomitable Bison baddie is detailing her time at the Mecca while celebrating diverse young leaders educated at historically Black institutions.
Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins consistently made waves on Netflix’s “Dear White People” where she played a purpose-seeking freshman who navigated through a PWI while embracing Black pride.
Her role countered her real-life, Howard Univerity experience where she enjoyed all-Black, all-excellent, HBCU culture while realizing that she would dedicate her time to paying it forward for the next generation of leaders.
A legacy Bison alumna Ashley always speaks on Howard, and this homecoming season, she’s joining DIAGEO and its brands CÎROC, Crown Royal, Tequila Don Julio, and Tanqueray in partnership with HBCU Buzz as they honor their 30 Under 30. The list includes grads from not only Howard, but Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, Spelman College, and more, all of whom are making impressive strides in their respective fields.
On Friday, October 21, Ashley will pass the torch to the honorees by celebrating their roles as the next generation of Black leaders and industry changemakers at the HBCU Buzz 30 Under 30 Reception and the inaugural Bison Alumni Ball.
Below the star dishes to BOSSIP about her Howard experience and details the forthcoming purpose-driven party for HBCU Buzz’s honorees.
Happy Homecoming week! What are some of your fondest memories from your time at Howard?
My very first Homecoming in October of 2005 was so incredibly memorable & FUN. My mother is a Howard Alum and I’m from the DMV so I had attended before, but there’s nothing like your first one as a student and your first as an alum! Becoming a Lady of Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc in the Spring of 2007 & meeting some of my very best friends. Howard University changed my life & I will always do my best to give back to the university that has given me so much!
A number of us at BOSSIP are HBCU grads, so we completely understand the HBCU experience, but what does the HBCU experience mean to you and what advice would you offer someone considering an education at one of our historically Black colleges and universities?
The HBCU experience is one where you have the distinct honor and privilege of being surrounded by brilliant, beautiful, and ambitious students, faculty, and staff who look like you. It is a place where as a Black person you feel incredibly seen, valued, and understood which is invaluable. The advice I would offer is, “It is an experience I am happy to say I didn’t miss out on. I see the benefits and blessings which have come from attending an HBCU in my life each and every day. I have no regrets, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made & I don’t know anyone personally who regrets their decision. That says a lot!”
Howard Homecomings are legendary—if you could describe the experience in three words, what words would you choose?
Incomparable, Exhilarating & BLACK!
Tell us more about your partnership with DIAGEO and HBCU Buzz’s 30 Under 30—what qualities do those selected for this honor possess?
I’m excited to partner with DIAGEO and it’s brands to honor the next generation of Black leaders. Together we will celebrate the latest HBCU Buzz Class of 30 under 30 and to toast to each honoree’s impact and impressive achievements to build a better future during one of my favorite times, Howard Homecoming. I’m proud to pay it forward and support my fellow HBCU community as we uplift the next generation of changemakers who are blazing a trail for others in their communities!
We also heard about the inaugural Bison Ball, what can attendees expect?
A celebration! Right after the 30 under 30 Reception, we will be partying with a purpose that night at the Bison Alumni Ball. It’ll be a night of Black excellence with so many notable alumni under one roof toasting to these amazing honorees. There will be music and of course delicious CÎROC, Crown Royal, Tequila Don Julio, and Tanqueray cocktails. I’m excited to come together with my HBCU family and let loose!
What’s next for you? We hear you’ve got your “Trials To Triumphs” podcast and a forthcoming recurring role on Run The World.
More episodes of TTT each and every Monday which I’m very excited about. You may see me back on the second season of NBC’s GRAND CREW (wink, wink), and I can’t wait for the world to meet Miss India Blue on the second season of Starz RUN THE WORLD. I’m always creating & collaborating so much more to come!
Check out HBCU Buzz’s “30 Under 30 below.”