Student Solidarity Fund: The Future Will Be Invested In - Black Lives Matter

Student Solidarity Fund: The Future Will Be Invested In

In 2021, people across the U.S. waited for Congress to approve a $2 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief package that included direct payments of $1,400 to those earning less than $75,000 a year. Instead of waiting for the state to offer aid, we created our own fund that offered microgrants of $1,000 to nearly 3,000 Black people. 

After watching our direct investment positively impact the lives of thousands of Black folks, we launched a second initiative with a $500,000 fund which awarded grants to more than 500 HBCU students and Black alumni from various colleges and universities. This relief was also awarded to those who did not complete their degree but still carry student loan debt. 

While a proposed federal student debt forgiveness plan is held up in litigation by political opponents, The Student Solidarity Fund focuses philanthropic dollars to issues of economic injustice.

Black Lives Matter Foundation is working both inside and outside of the system to heal the past, re-imagine the present, and invest in the future of Black lives. Our fight is fought in many different ways: through policy change, investment in our communities, and a commitment to uplifting Black arts and culture at the nexus of activism. 

We realize the collective power of our Black institutions, Black cultural makers, Black students, and Black thought leaders in movement spaces. Our people work on all fronts, reimagining our futures and empowering generations to come. Black Lives Matter Foundation is excited to continue building relationships in order to best serve our communities. 

The BLM Foundation HBCU Ambassador Program is a partnership which seeks to ensure that a diverse set of HBCU students has access to funding via phase 2 of the BLM Foundation Student Solidarity Fund. This partnership plants seeds toward deepening relationships and collaborations between HBCU students and alumni, BLM Foundation and our communities.

As the young visionary and CEO of LegacyHistoryPride, Tahir “Mr. Legacy” Murray, one of our BLM Foundation HBCU ambassadors, has become a shining example of an entrepreneur. A 2021 graduate of Howard University, he is a third generation entrepreneur in the apparel industry and says it has always been his dream to continue the legacy his grandfather started when he immigrated to America from Trinidad in search of the American dream. Mr. Legacy is more than just the face and brain behind one of the more formidable collegiate apparel brands in the nation. His philanthropic commitments include his partnerships with the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance, Google, HBCUBuzz, the NBA, NIKE & Black Enterprise, which have resulted in multiple six-figure contributions to scholarships for students and universities. 

In collaboration with BLM Foundation, Tahir will help lead our diverse group of ambassadors, who each bring invaluable perspective and understanding of the HBCU experience. Through their networks and efforts on and off campus, our ambassadors will have a hand in mobilizing HBCU students on issues that matter to them most. We believe this program will allow our organization to better invest in the future of Black lives and is just the beginning of what this kind of community partnership can accomplish.

By participating, ambassadors ensure their HBCU networks have the opportunity to apply to the Student Solidarity Fund’s grant program, where each recipient receives a microgrant of $750. 

“Black students have [disproportionately little] access to aid and resources [which] take into account historical discrimination and the experiences of Black people navigating a society that does not see or treat us as equal,” says Murray.

“The fact of the matter is that Black people who work to get an education are struggling right now,” BLM Foundation Board Chair Cicley Gay said. “We recognize that we can’t build a world of true liberation without the brilliance of Black people who are committed to furthering their education.”

Phase 2 of the Student Solidarity Fund is now closed. Applicants can expect to see updates regarding the status of their application in the coming weeks from [email protected] or [email protected].

Read all about the Black Lives Matter Foundation Student Solidarity Fund, and meet our BLM Foundation x HBCU Ambassadors!

While the Student Solidarity Fund scholarship phases 1 and 2 are over, we have plenty of programming and initiatives in the works in the coming months. Be sure to stay up to date on all things Black Lives Matter Foundation by subscribing to our email list.

Please send any questions to [email protected].