The beauty brand Dark & Lovely is breaking down barriers for Black women in higher education. The company has teamed up with the nonprofit the College Gurl Foundation and actress Storm Reid for the creation of a scholarship fund.
The initiative is part of a larger project being led by Dark & Lovely dubbed Building Beautiful Futures. Through the effort—which aims to develop education and career pathways for 16,000 young Black women over the next four years—the brand has cultivated scholarships and mentorship opportunities for students pursuing undergraduate degrees. Dark & Lovely and the Washington, DC-based College Gurl Foundation—which has a mission rooted in providing scholarship opportunities for first-generation students from low-income households—are aiming to use the initiative to tackle socioeconomic factors contributing to the opportunity gap.
The scholarships are open to Black women who are earning degrees at accredited colleges or universities in the U.S., have entrepreneurial aspirations, and are making an impact in their communities. To commemorate the brand’s 50th anniversary, 50 endowments will be awarded.
Actress Storm Reid will serve as an ambassador for the initiative. “College is difficult enough and worrying about how to pay for it doesn’t make it any better,” Reid shared in a statement. “This scholarship is an opportunity to alleviate a part of that financial burden and help young, Black women work towards achieving their dreams.” Jessica L. Brown, who serves as President of the College Gurl Foundation, added that through the collaborative effort Dark & Lovely and her nonprofit are “championing for education and sprinkling our Black girl magic to close the opportunity gap for generations to come!”
Initiatives like Building Beautiful Futures are needed to level the playing field. Research shows racial disparities surrounding financial aid for higher education persist.
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