BLM Launches $500,000 Relief Fund For Black Students, Alumni, and Dropouts

Black mutual aid efforts date back to the 1700s, and service towards community efforts has increased in popularity.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation launched a new relief fund on Monday to provide support for Black college students, alumni, and dropouts who need assistance with education expenses, or have been affected by the student loan debt crisis.

According to PBS, the foundation is set to distribute an award to over 500 recipients from a $500,000 Student Solidarity Fund that has been set aside. The relief payments will range from $750 to $4,500.

“The fact of the matter is that Black people who work to get an education are struggling right now,” BLM foundation board chair Cicley Gay said. “We recognize that we can’t build a world of true liberation without the brilliance of Black people who are committed to furthering their education.”

“Black people shouldn’t have to jump through hoops and jump over hurdles to get the access that they need,” he said.


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The foundation’s Student Solidarity Fund comes as an extension of its 2021 focus on economic justice through the BLM’s Survival Fund. The previous initiative aimed to support Black communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With the federal student debt forgiveness plan currently on hold by litigation from opponents, the foundation is using philanthropic dollars to bring attention to economic injustice issues.

The BLM relief fund is intended for bachelor’s degree recipients, in addition to former students who did not complete their degrees but still face student loan debt. To be eligible for funds, applicants must have attended a college or university in the U.S., and must be able to provide proof through student loan documents.

Selected applicants with $75,000 or less in debt will receive $1,500, applicants with debt between $75,001 and $150,000 will receive $3,000, and those with $150,001 or more in debt will receive $4,500. A second phase of the relief fund will be distributed to current HBCU student applicants in micro-grants of $750.

“We could sit around and wait, and hope that legislators do what they promised by providing loan relief, or we could step up and do it ourselves. And we’ve decided to do the latter,” Gay said.

The funds are not only for use towards student loan payment, and applicants do not have to show proof they are Black. However, according to foundation board secretary Shalomyah Bowers, fund administrators will be working to eliminate any scammers.

The public application to receive relief funds opened on Monday and awards will be distributed to selected recipients in January.