Mellody Hobson and George Lucas Invest in Black and Latino Students
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue


George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (Image: Getty Images)

According to reports, power couple George Lucas and Mellody Hobson gave $10 million in support of black and Hispanic student success at the University of Southern California. Through the George Lucas Family Foundation, the funds will provide support to students in the university’s School of Cinematic Arts to help boost diversity.

“Hispanic and African American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Star Wars creator Lucas said in a statement. “It is Mellody’s and my privilege to provide this assistance to qualified students who want to contribute their unique experience and talent to telling their stories.”

The George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity will be awarded to both undergraduate and graduate level students, and the first awards are set to be distributed in next fall. Divided equally among male and female students, recipients will be known as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars.

“George Lucas and Mellody Hobson are inspiring leaders in their fields, and tremendous friends to the USC community,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias told reporters. “This gift will nurture the next generation of artists, supporting scholarships that enhance access in the cinematic arts, while bringing new and diverse voices and stories into our lives.

The couple have long been strong advocates for education and diversity, and Hobson  spoke at USC’s May commencement, where she was awarded an honorary degree for her commitment to being a civic, academic and arts leader.  Hobson, a Black Enterprise Woman of Power Summit alumna, also serves as chairwoman of After School Matters, a nonprofit that provides extracurricular programs for Chicago teens., and on the boards of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and The Chicago Public Education Fund.

Lucas is also founder of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which provides learning and research resources for students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.