Jermaine Dupri to be honored at UNCF’s Mayor’s Masked Ball

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Jermaine Dupri fast facts Despite his deep ties to Atlanta, where he was raised, Dupri was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He earned his first $1 million at 19. That came after Dupri discovered the hip hop duo, Kriss Kross, at Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in the 1990s. Before he was 25, Dupri founded his record label, So So Def Recordings, in 1993. He's written and produced songs for the likes of Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Monica and Da Brat.

The Atlanta native donated $50,000 to United Negro College Fund for students at historically black colleges and universities last year

Jermaine Dupri is being honored in the city he calls home.

Last year, he donated $50,000 to help the United Negro College Fund’s Mayor’s Masked Ball raise a record-breaking $1.3 million. Now, the Grammy-winning producer will be recognized at this year’s gala, which is hosted by Tamron Hall.

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Dupri, who was born in Asheville, North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, will be recognized at the 36th annual sold-out event at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Dec. 21. He’s being applauded as “a beacon of hope in providing a quality education to students of color,” according to a news release.

Billye Aaron and Ambassador Andrew Young founded the Mayor’s Masked ball in 1983, when Young served as the city’s 55th mayor. The gathering is touted as Atlanta’s premier holiday season socializing gathering where the city’s major players turn out. They include current Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax, and The Coca-Cola Foundation president and event co-chair Helen Smith Price, to name a few. Also among those appearing at the ball are member institution presidents representing Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.

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“This year’s annual gala is the culminating event celebrating UNCF’s 75th anniversary. As we celebrate hosting the Mayor’s Masked Ball for 36 years in Atlanta, we know we could not make it successful without the major contributions of our diverse Atlanta community and its outstanding corporations,” said Justine Boyd, regional development director, UNCF. “With Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as host, and the commitment of corporate sponsors and volunteers, we continue to raise the bar to support deserving students and our 37 UNCF-member institutions, four of which are in Atlanta.”

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Dupri won’t be the only musical guest in the building. Award-winning R&B crooner Charlie Wilson is set to provide the entertainment along with Clark Atlanta University’s jazz band. With silent and live auctions among the fundraising efforts, guests seek to collect more than $1 million to donate to HBCUs and their students.

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