SNIPES Launches Pay it Forward Initiative to Support HBCUs and Empower the Next Generation of Black Leaders


Atlanta, GA (April 10, 2023) -SNIPES, the leading streetwear and sneaker retailer, has announced the launch of its Pay It Forward initiative, a nationwide campaign to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The initiative is part of SNIPES' commitment to giving back to the community and investing in the future of HBCUs and their graduates. Through this program, SNIPES aims to provide opportunities for underrepresented communities and empower the next generation of leaders by supporting education and creating a platform for important conversations.

The inaugural event of the Pay It Forward initiative is in partnership with The Big Homecoming. This first-of-its-kind HBCU culture festival focuses on creating ongoing impact for HBCUs. The Pay It Forward initiative is in conjunction with The Big Homecoming’s 365 Impact Tour, which will take place on April 11th at Clark Atlanta University, one of the most prestigious HBCUs in the nation. The event will offer a day of inspiring panel discussions, experiential activations, and one-on-one conversations with notable guests from the Atlanta community.

"Clark Atlanta University is thrilled to announce our partnership with The Big Homecoming Event and Snipes, focusing on empowering our students pursuing the creative arts.  We encourage CAU students to think creatively and to dream big as they solve big societal issues and create platforms for change, so this partnership will continue to push our students forward”, said Walter J. Brock, Director of Development at Clark Atlanta University. “Snipes and the Big Homecoming Event's financial and programmatic support is celebrated as CAU continues to develop and produce trailblazing students and alumni making global change within the creative arts space."

The Big Homecoming will kick off with an inspiring panel discussion led by members of SNIPES' leadership team, including Derek Bailey, Digital Content Manager; Jasmine Cordew, Social Media Manager; Gabrielle Golden, Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist; JaNaie Fort, Buyer, Women’s & Kid’s. The panel will delve into critical topics such as workplace diversity, overcoming adversity, and the significance of inclusion in the workplace.

The Big Homecoming will also feature a Fireside Chat focused on essential topics such as leadership, financial literacy, health, entrepreneurship, and creating a sustainable legacy of Black excellence. The discussion will feature distinguished panelists such as comedian and social media star Desi Banks, reality star and entrepreneur Yandy Smith-Harris, media personality and comedian Rachael O'Neil, and actor and singer Reed Shannon, providing students with valuable advice and insight from successful professionals in various fields. 


In addition to the panel discussions, The Big Homecoming will include a variety of inspiring and engaging on-site activations, including: 

  • Wall of Affirmations: The Wall of Affirmations activation is a space for students to share their aspirations and affirmations, empowering them to visualize their collective ambition and inspiration. The activation reflects SNIPES' commitment to fostering positivity and encouraging students to aim high.
  • Custom Sock Creation: At the Custom Sock Creation activation, students will have the unique opportunity to design and create their own custom socks. This hands-on experience not only allows students to exercise their creativity but also enables them to give back to the community. The socks created by students will be donated to underprivileged children at ChopArt. ChopArt provides dignity, community, and opportunity to middle and high-school-aged youth experiencing homelessness through multidisciplinary arts immersion and mentorship.
  • Alumni Legacy Wall: The Legacy Wall activation celebrates the impressive contributions of Clark Atlanta alumni who have made significant strides in their respective fields. This activation aims to inspire students to follow in the footsteps of trailblazers such as Eva Marcille, DJ Drama, Pinky Cole, and Kenya Barris. The Legacy Wall is a testament to SNIPES' commitment to showcasing the excellence and success of the Black community.

Moreover, SNIPES is committed to supporting education by providing $50,000 in scholarships for Atlanta students who sign up at the Scholarship Booth during the event. This pledge further showcases SNIPES' dedication to supporting education and empowering the next generation to achieve their goals. 

"Celebrating the contributions of HBCUs to our nation's rich history is a responsibility that we all share. At SNIPES, we believe in the power of community and education to create a better future for all,” said Paula Barbosa, VP of marketing for SNIPES. “We are thrilled to launch the Pay It Forward initiative and The Big Homecoming event, which represent our commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders and giving back to the community. Through these efforts, we hope to inspire and uplift students, faculty, and alumni at HBCUs across the country and to showcase the importance of education and community engagement in creating a better, more equitable world for all."

Through the Pay It Forward initiative and The Big Homecoming event, SNIPES is not only demonstrating its commitment to giving back to the community and supporting education but also creating a platform for important conversations and empowering the next generation of leaders. By investing in HBCUs and their students and faculty, SNIPES is contributing to the advancement of underrepresented communities and creating a more equitable world for all. As SNIPES continues to make a meaningful impact through its initiatives and partnerships, the brand remains dedicated to creating positive change and uplifting the voices that need to be heard.

About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. 

Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank

Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit


As the leading sneaker and streetwear retailer in the US and Europe, SNIPES offers products from top brands like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and New Balance through its 300 US-based stores and digital properties. SNIPES works with local community partners as well as international brands and personalities such as its Chief Creative Officer DJ Khaled to support, empower, and celebrate local street culture. 

About The Big Homecoming + 365 Impact

The first entertainment and Impact festival, The Big Homecoming is an annual music and culture festival that feels like an HBCU homecoming, but focuses on creating ongoing Impact for HBCUs through its 365 Impact Tour by visiting HBCUs throughout the school year, offering internships, scholarships, fireside chats and more.