Last year, Black Skeptics Los Angeles (BSLA), a 501c3 organization, spearheaded its First in the Family Humanist Scholarship initiative, which focuses on providing resources to undocumented, foster care, homeless and LGBTQ youth who will be the first in their families to go to college. 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 with an explicitly anti-racist multicultural emphasis. 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. In addition:
- The school-to-prison pipeline disproportionately locks up African American and Latino youth, leaving many with criminal records and no possibility of “re-entry” to employment, housing or higher education
- African American youth are severely over-represented in foster care, homeless populations, and juvenile jails
- Foster care and homeless youth of color have some of the lowest rates of college transfer and graduation amongst college youth populations
- LGBTQ youth of color have disproportionately high suspension/expulsion and push-out rates in U.S. public schools
- Black females are consistently suspended at greater rates than ALL OTHER groups besides black males
- So-called inner city schools have fewer Advanced Placement, college prep and honors courses and highly qualified STEM teachers than their white suburban counterparts
With your support, we hope to award at least four youth $1000 scholarships to assist with their books, tuition, housing and other living expenses. Last year's scholars went to UC Riverside, Cal State University Long Beach, Babson College and El Camino College and are thriving in their first year in college!