Attending an HBCU comes with many memories. Whether it’s hanging in the grove with your close friends during some much needed downtime or attending outdoor and indoor sporting events throughout the year, our HBCU has given us a fair share of memories that resonates even more when we become graduates of these institutions. When specific times of the year comes around, many of us can imagine attending different sporting events to support our HBCU athletes. Therefore, with February just around the corner we should have collegiate basketball running through our minds.
From February 23rd-27th, the CIAA Virtual Vibe: Tournament Edition will be held to feature annual cornerstone events and new offerings will take place in a virtual setting to give us, HBCU Southern Belles, a visual memory of HBCU athletics. Instead of seeing teams battle out on the court we can expect to recant on the legacy that the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has always provided. This event will include the always popular CIAA Fan Fest and the CIAA Step Show along with new events, including an Old School/New School DJ Battle and the CIAA Esports Tournament. As the nation’s oldest historically black athletic conference, which is now in its 76th year, will not only be virtual but also will be based in its new stomping ground, the charm city, Baltimore, Maryland.
Along with many firsts, including the new location and new celebration techniques, we can add Jacquie McWilliams, Commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association to the list. As the first African-American female ever to hold the position, Ms. McWilliams is responsible for leading all strategic planning for the conference, working closely with the 13 member institutions and the board of directors and staff to support the advancement of student athletes. However, Ms. McWilliams isn’t new to this type of responsibility and has some HBCU experience from Hampton University that has helped her reach these great new heights.
As a previous student-athlete, Ms. Jacquie McWilliams understands how devastating it is to missed a real-time sporting event, but understands the importance and safety of the health of CIAA fans and more importantly the HBCU student-athletes and CIAA staff. Therefore, this Baltimore residence suggests ways in which we can enjoy this year’s CIAA event virtually and also provide a few places in Baltimore that are her favorites and hopefully we can enjoy when traveling becomes safer or for CIAA 2022.
Tips for Enjoying CIAA Virtual Vibe: Tournament Edition
Fans can register at http://www.ciaatournament.org for easy access to the popular CIAA standard events.
Be Prepared to Have Fun
The virtual event will be hosted by comedians B. Simone, Darren Brand, and Burpie and will feature music from popular DJs. This is an event you don’t want to miss!
Look the Part
Included with 5 limited edition 2021 CIAA Tournament items, you can Purchase The Legacy Lives On fan box to look the part during this virtual event.
Besides the virtual event, Commissioner McWilliams will be expecting your arrival in future CIAA tournaments and she’s knows that in order to enjoy your stay, there are a few places that you can try when in the Baltimore area.
Ms. McWilliams states “There is not one restaurant that I have frequented in Baltimore, where I have not enjoyed the ambiance, service, and quality of the food. The diversity of food and culture, including the Black-Owned establishments, are worth any foodies exploration.”
Here is a list of Commissioner McWilliams’ favorite places in Baltimore, Maryland that we know you, Southern Belle, will love!
Commissioner McWilliams’ Favorite Places In Baltimore
- Has the best view of the Harbor! The cocktails, food, and serene ambiance are perfect for all group sizes.
- A must for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. You will see the mayor and other community officials meeting and enjoying the amazing teas and food at this Black-Owned establishment. A “must go” on every visit.
- You can never go wrong with Phillips and crab cakes at the Harbor. I always visit when I go to Baltimore for a quick lunch.
- Keystone Corner
- This Jazz Club has fantastic food, plus artists and talent. The environment is welcoming and fun with excellent, diverse live entertainment.
- Catered to Italian food lovers! The dining space is beautiful and great for private parties and a nice date.