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‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris donates $1M to HBCU

'Black-ish' creator Kenya Barris donates $1M to HBCU
Kenya Barris and Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, president of Clark Atlanta University (Photo Provided by CAU Media Relations)

Clark Atlanta University graduates, TV producer and writer Kenya Barris and his wife, Dr. Rainbow Barris, have given a gift of $1M to their alma mater. The gift kicks off the university’s 30th anniversary year-long celebration, which officially starts on July 1, 2018, and will include a host of national events. Half of the Kenya and Rainbow Barris Annual Scholarship Award is designated to support mass media arts majors and the other half will support students who major in biology.

Also, Barris received an honorary doctorate of humane letters during commencement convocation at Clark Atlanta University on Monday, May 21.

Barris, who graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass media arts, is the creator of the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning television series “Black-ish.”

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, president of CAU, says in a statement to press, “Mr. Barris has lifted his powerful voice in the entertainment industry to explore issues of classism and racism in creative and humorous ways. In giving back to their alma mater, he has again used his powerful voice to articulate the importance of supporting this beloved institution that is giving our students the skills and confidence to find and lift their own voices in the field of their choice.”

Dr. Rainbow Barris, who is also a 1996 graduate with a degree in biology, is a board-certified anesthesiologist and has worked for a major hospital group in Los Angeles for the past six years. She recently decided to devote herself full time to raising the couple’s six children.

Getchel Caldwell, II, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement and University Relations tells press, “This tremendous gift represents the first million-dollar commitment from alumni of the consolidated Clark Atlanta University. We hope this anchor gift will ignite alumni giving across the nation.”

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