The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference is rebranding itself under a new name. Now titled the HBCU Athletic Conference, the organization is expanding to include new member universities and initiatives. The goal is to give more visibility and highlight the impact of HBCUs in collegiate sports and beyond, according to HBCU Gameday.

“Today, the nation watches as we give our HBCU students the opportunity to take up space,” Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, the Commissioner of the HBCU Athletic Conference, said, according to Hope Credit Union. “Whether it’s on the field, in classrooms, or at their local bank, we want to ensure that HBCU students feel seen and represented.”

The organization renewed a three-year contract with the bank, which is the largest sponsorship in the history of HBCUAC.

“We couldn’t think of a better partner for this mission than Hope Credit Union,” Dr. Barnes added. “HOPE has continued to help push the boundaries of our shared vision to close the racial wealth gap, starting with some of our most important institutions — our campuses.”

The HBCUAC is also welcoming three new members to its roster of universities, Stillman College, Voorhees University and Wilberforce University. The organization now counts thirteen institutions across eight states and one U.S. territory.

It also unveiled a new motto “Where Winners Thrive” as part of rebranding efforts. The tagline was chosen to represent HBCUAC’s dedication to fostering excellence both on and off the field. Its goal is to help develop and recognize athletic achievement, as well as the well-being of student-athletes to ensure their success in all areas of their lives.