The annual Howard University Charter Day gatherings are a treasured tradition that brings alumni and friends back together for a worthy cause of friend-raising and fundraising. This year, the festivities for the 154thanniversary will continue with Cedric the Entertainer as master of ceremonies of a virtual event titled, 2021 Charter Day Virtual Celebration, which will broadcast on Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. ET. The virtual event will boast a line-up of exciting entertainment, including Matt the Violinist and Step Afrika!, the award-winning company founded by Howard’s own C. Brian Williams. Viewers can follow along with the digital program booklet.

Cedric "The Entertainer"

A portrait of Cedric "The Entertainer".Over the course of a career spanning 30 years, actor/comedian Cedric "The Entertainer" has solidified his status as one of the world’s premier performers on the stage, in film and on television.

Currently starring in and executive producing the CBS Television hit comedy “The Neighborhood,” Cedric is simultaneously co-starring in the hit TBS comedy “The Last O.G.,” opposite Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish.  His other noteworthy television credits include the comedy series “The Soul Man,” which he co-created and executive produced through his production company A Bird And A Bear Entertainment; “The Steve Harvey Show, for which he received four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy; the sketch comedy series “Cedric the Entertainer Presents, which he starred in and executive produced and garnered the AFTRA Award of Excellence for; served as host of season 12 of the hit game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire; and was featured as the voice of Bobby Proud in the Disney animated series “The Proud Family,” for which he also earned an NAACP Image Award.

Cedric’s versatile film work spans genres from the comedic: highlighted by his memorable performances in the hit “Barbershop” franchise, starring in and producing “Johnson Family Vacation,” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” concert film which chronicled his record breaking Kings of Comedy Tour with fellow comedians Steve Harvey, D.L Hughley and the late Bernie Mac; to the dramatic with Paul Schrader’s critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated drama “First Reformed,” co-starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried.  And his signature baritone voice has been heard in such animated hits as Disney’s “Madagascar” and “Planes” franchises, “Ice Age 2” and “Dr. Dolittle 2” among many others.

Matt the Violinist

Matt the Violinist performing onstage.Bronx native Mathew Silvera, also known as Matt the Violinist, utilizes music as an escape from all the negativity that was prevalent in his community. Performing gave him a sense of pride and accomplishment when he struggled academically. Matt studied music in school at an early age and later went on to further his music education with a full scholarship to William Patterson University. His work has established him as a staple artist at various universities, clubs, political events, and more. 

Matt received accolades after becoming a three-time first place winner at the Apollo Theater. He’s also performed at Madison Square Garden as a halftime performer for the New York Knicks. Matt’s performance as the featured artis in the American and Russian Tour of the Hip Hop Nutcracker with Kurtis Blow and the Off-Broadway production of Death Boogie, afforded him various opportunities. With the evolution of the music business, Matt the Violinist continues to live by the motto that music is a powerful tool that brings people from various cultures and walks of life together. His goal is to enlighten, empower and influence by creating unity through music. 

Step Afrika!

A performance by the dance team Step Afrika!Founder and Executive Director of Step Afrika!, C. Brian Williams, is a native of Houston, Texas and graduate of Howard University. He first learned to step as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. - Beta Chapter, in the Spring of 1989. While living in Southern Africa, he began to research the percussive dance tradition of stepping, exploring the many sides of this exciting, yet under-recognized American art form and founded Step Afrika! in 1994. Williams has performed, lectured, and taught in Europe, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and throughout the United States. He is a founder of the monumental Step Afrika! International Cultural Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Through Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s newest cultural exports and inspired the designation of Step Afrika! as Washington, DC’s official “Cultural Ambassador.” Williams has been cited as a “civic/community visionary” by NV Magazine, a “nation builder” by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and a “minority business leader” by the Washington Business Journal. He is the recipient of numerous Artist Fellowships; the Distinguished Arts Award from the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts; and the Pola Nirenska Award for Contemporary Achievement in Dance. He is also featured in Soulstepping, the first book to document the history of stepping. He also earned the 2008 Mayor’s Art Award for Innovation in the Arts and has led the company to multiple Metro DC Dance Awards for “Outstanding New Work”, “Excellence in Stage Design/Multimedia” and “Outstanding Group Performance.” In 2018, Williams received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Visionary Leadership from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.