The Black, Gifted & Whole Foundation, is a Black, queer-led organization that supports Black queer students. Black, Gifted & Whole’s mission is to ensure the inclusivity of Black queer representation in the conversations of higher education at HBCUs and beyond. The organization provides financial assistance and resources to Black students and the Black queer community.
Black, Gifted & Whole is celebrating its fifth year of community and activism by gifting queer Black college students with a curated package known as The Black Box. It contains items to keep them motivated and affirmed throughout the school year and especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rolling out spoke with founder Guy Anthony about the organization.
How did the Black, Gifted & Whole Foundation start?
I know a lot of Black gay men who need to be celebrated. Sometimes carved-out spaces are OK. Just because you are a Black person who is knowledgeable and educated and has all the right tools to finish school, it doesn’t mean that you’ll actually have the access to go to that school. I just wanted to be sure that whenever I got older, I was able to give back in some capacity. We found one Black gay man who was in high school. That one ambassador in 2016-2017 has grown to 16 ambassadors with over $70,000 committed to this scholarship over [the past] five years. We have unrestricted funds that can help them with tuition, or they can use it for room and board, for books, for groceries or for whatever they need.
Who are this year’s ambassadors?
The 2020 cohort consists of four graduate students: Brenton Brock (Ph.D., English, Howard University); Leslie Hall (Ph.D., higher education leadership and policy studies, Howard University); Stephon Bradberry (Master of Arts degree, political communications, American University), and Calvin Seino (Executive MBA, Howard University). Each of this year’s ambassadors received $2,000 and will receive an additional $2,000 next year. Past recipients and ambassadors attended Morehouse, Bethune-Cookman, University of the District of Columbia and Texas Southern.
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