There’s just something transformative about the HBCU experience—the power of seeing oneself, the diversity of Blackness, a connection to legacy. As a young woman who often felt out of place, I found those things, and myself, at my alma mater, Howard University.

For over 45 years, EBONY has celebrated that magic through our HBCU Campus Queens contest. That tradition continues with this commemorative issue that we are so proud to bring to you in partnership with OLAY—a brand that has committed to #FacetheSTEMGap by working to triple the number of women of color in the field by 2030.

Our first-ever STEM-focused HBCU Campus Queens competition spotlights brilliant students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. From a 13-year-old future surgeon to a robotics engineer in training, these ladies serve up plenty of genius. But we didn’t stop there. We meet Black scientists fulfilling our beauty needs. We celebrate actors and authors whose genre-bending portrayals broaden the scope of who we can be. We hear from COVID-19 vaccine developer Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., and more.

I’m infinitely proud of the work the EBONY team put in. So sit back, relax, and be inspired.

The OLAY x EBONY special commemmorative print issue.

Look for the EBONY x OLAY commemorative print issue at all Barnes & Noble, select Target and HBCU stores, and retail chains nationwide on February 11, 2022. Visit for more information.