College offers $25K scholarships for 'LGBTQ advocates'

Funded through a $100,000 donation, the the program will provide two sophomores with $25,000 scholarships, starting this year.

Spelman College, a historically black all-women's college, recently launched a $100,000 scholarship fund for “self-identified LGBTQ advocates.”

Spelman College recently launched a $100,000 scholarship fund for “self-identified LGBTQ advocates.”

“Two sophomore students, who are self-identified LGBTQ advocates, will be named Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars in 2017 and awarded renewable $25,000 scholarships,” according to a press release.

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The release notes that the new program will be funded with a pledge of $100,000, which will also help fund a lecture series exploring “contemporary issues of race, gender, and sexuality” that is slated to begin in 2018.

“As an institution that upholds a supportive student experience, this gift will present new opportunities for critical conversation on race and sexuality with distinguished scholars and thought leaders, and provide a platform to recognize campus LGBTQ advocates and their scholarly achievements,” Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell remarked.

Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall, who founded the scholars program, elaborated that participants “will call attention to the importance of making visible the courageous and significant work of LGBTQ scholar activists within and beyond the academy, especially at HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities].”

According to the press release, the program will be housed at the college’s Women’s Center, which “has been involved in a broad range of advocacy issues” as well curriculum “development related to gender and sexuality since its inception in 1981.”

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The program’s namesake, Levi Watkins, Jr., was awarded an honorary degree from Spelman College for being “the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient” while helping hundreds of black students into medical school, according to The New York Times.

Campus Reform reached out to Spelman College for additional comment, but was referred to back to the press release.

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