Freedom, Inc. has extended the application deadline for their Black Queer youth and adult scholarship until Monday, Sept. 5.
“I think it’s really important in Madison to identify resources that can help Queer youth and adults,” Black queer youth coordinator Shyra Adams said. “…The resources that we have can really be put out to help Black Queer folks.”
The organization is offering two youth (17-24) and two adults (25 and up) scholarships worth $5,000 each to any individual who identifies as Black and LGBTQIA+. These scholarships are available for students planning on pursuing educational opportunities in Dane County such as their post-secondary degrees in any four-year institution, community college, vocational program, professional program or training program.
Applicants are expected to submit a 500-700 word page essay or a 5-7 minute video explaining their educational pursuits and how they plan on making a difference in their community. Adams explained the goal of these scholarships is to not only to assist Black, Queer youth and adults with accessing education, but to also uplift and cultivate leaders.
“We’re looking for all types of applicants. We’re looking for someone who is really passionate about helping their community,” Adams said.
For example, an applicant interested in focusing on Black mothers and maternity care as a nurse or someone who plans on building affordable housing units would share this in their submission.
“We really want to hear about the candidate, how or why they think they should be picked, the things they’ve been through or why they’re passionate about the things they’re passionate about,” Adams said.
The Marsha P. Johnson Scholarship for Youth Education and the Pat Parker Scholarship for Adult Education honors two Black Queer women recognized for their activism. Johnson, a trans activist, co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), the first gay, gender non-conforming, and transgender street activist organization in 1970 which provided shelter and food to homeless Queer youth and organized for Transgender rights and Parker, both a poet and activist, was a member of the Black Panther Party, Black Women’s Revolutionary Council, and formed the Women’s Press Collective.
“We’re really looking forward to building a space for Queer folks, especially Black Queer folks or Queer folks of color. This scholarship is specifically for Black Queer folks but we want to center them and love them and show them that they have support,” Adams said.
The application is due Monday, Sept. 5 and recipients will be contacted by Sept. 19. Those interested in applying or have questions about the scholarships should contact: Shyra Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bianca Gomez at Bgomez@freedom-inc.org.