Black Skeptics Los Angeles (BSLA), an African American atheist 501c 3 nonprofit organization, has partnered with Atheists United on its 2014 scholarship fund for youth non-believers of color. This year BSLA awarded five outstanding South Los Angeles students college scholarships. Jamion Allen, Phillip Aubrey, Hugo Cervantes, Ramiro Salas and Victory Yates from Washington Prep High School, King Drew Medical Magnet and Duke Ellington Continuation School received scholarships of up to $1000 toward their college expenses.
BSLA’s First in the Family Humanist Scholarship initiative focuses on undocumented, foster care, homeless and LGBTQ youth who will be the first in their families to go to college. The organization was created to provide resources for non-believers of color and develop social justice initiatives for South Los Angeles and beyond.
“My immigrant parents’ hard work and devotion tragically still isn’t enough to cover everything a student needs; yet through your beautiful socially conscious scholarship you have relieved thousands of nights of my parents worrying every night if their son has enough for books or has a laptop or enough cash for 3 am coffee. First in the Family has profoundly impacted my immigrant family as well as my academic and personal self esteem after a dark-bell jar senior year.” Hugo Cervantes 2013 Scholarship undocumented youth recipient, University of California, Riverside
Responding directly to the school-to-prison pipeline crisis in communities of color, BSLA is the first atheist organization to specifically address college pipelining for youth of color. If current prison pipelining trends persist the Education Trust estimates that only “one of every 20 African American kindergartners will graduate from a four-year California university” in the next decade.
Atheists United (AU) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that promotes separation of government and religion. For more information on AU please contact 323-666-4258 or see www.atheistsunited.org.