George Floyd and Breonna Taylor scholarships announced by SJECCD Foundation

Funds will serve underprivileged students


Photo courtesy of Canva

San Jose Evergreen community college district students can get up to $10,000 in tuition help. The SJECCD Foundation is matching 1:1 with donations for a scholarship.

This is an opportunity to double the impact and donations in which will offer help to provide scholarships and opportunities to keep education affordable for students.

“The scholarships seek to increase the number of disproportionately impacted students who will impact learning in a positive manner,” Lauri Adachi, executive director and institutional advancement officer, wrote in an email. “Scholarship criteria will be announced by The Association of Black Employees in the coming weeks.”

Adachi said the scholarship will not have restrictions based on color, race, national origin, ethnicity or religion.

“It affects and impacts students in a pretty significant way because now we’re going to potentially increase access for some African-American students that otherwise may not have had that access,” San Jose City College English professor Dedrick Griffin said.

One hundred percent of the funds go directly to the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor scholarships.

Taylor’s and Floyd’s deaths were the latest cases of police brutality against Black people that sparked protests and were widely covered in the news.

“Often any time you have a moment of crisis in a country, this represents reflection that we don’t forget about something that was tragic and that we find a way to move forward with something that demonstrates hope for the future,” Griffin said.

Other faculty felt that the name of the scholarship will not make a difference to the amount that will be donated.

“The opportunity for this scholarship matters, and I don’t want to confuse that. But unfortunately, based on the past history that we’ve seen, these names will just become other names,” SJCC ethnic studies professor Kalid White said.

White said he feels this is a step in the right direction but hopes that more opportunities will be available in the future for African-American students.

“My personal feelings on this — and I know I may be controversial — is that I think the scholarship should go only to Black students,” White said. “That’s not to exclude the needs of other students who aren’t Black at all.”

White said he has many ideas that he has been working on and hopes to propose them to the district.

“Ideally I am trying to create a guidebook on how to make an anti-racist campus,” White said. “With this idea of the guidebook, there are additional steps the campus can take such as creating a committee dedicated to challenging anti-black racism, professional development activities and an anti-Black racism speaker series.”

As the scholarship opportunity test trials, many hope to see it give beneficial support to African-American students.

“Whoever was instrumental in getting it off the ground and making it happen, I commend them for doing that. I’m thankful that the additional funds will go to students who need it most,” White said. “Congratulations on starting something that is going to have some positive long-lasting consequences, and again I hope it’s the first of many new opportunities for our campuses and for the district.”

To donate visit George Floyd & Breonna Taylor Scholarship Fund