Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/17/2014 -- Black Skeptics Los Angeles, an African American atheist community-based organization, has awarded five outstanding South Los Angeles students college scholarships. Jamion Allen, Hugo Cervantes, Elizabeth Hernandez, Tiare Hill and Kelvin Manjarrez from El Camino College, UC Riverside and Gardena High School will receive $500-1000 scholarships toward their college expenses.
Kelvin Manjarrez, who identifies as an atheist, will receive a scholarship funded by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit organization that “works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.” Funding support for the scholarships was also received from Atheists United, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that promotes separation of government and religion.
According to Sikivu Hutchinson, Executive Director of BSLA, “These scholarships are critical to helping youth of color from first generation families get a start in a climate that often discourages all but the most economically advantaged students from pursuing higher education.”
About Black Skeptics Los Angeles
In 2013, Black Skeptics Los Angeles (BSLA), a 501c3 nonprofit, spearheaded its First in the Family Humanist Scholarship initiative, which 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 combat stereotypes about atheists not being socially responsible. 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.
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