For many alumni, it is a struggle to give back to their school, even though that institution has given them so much. Yet, a group of African-American graduates from Brown University has started a foundation that not only gives back to the university, but to the community as well.
Three graduates- Roland Laird, Ayana Evans and Felicia Lyde-have created The Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation through the New York City chapter of Inman Page Black Alumni Council of Brown.
The purpose of this non-profit organization is to create a connection between Brown alums and the Black community. Created less than a year ago, this foundation has already begun making a difference in the community.
In 2005-2006 academic year, Brown University‘s Third WorldCenter received $1,000 from the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation. That donation established a student coordinator position for the foundation. The purpose of the position is to focus on non-profit issues the Inman Page Black Alumni Council.
The foundation is still in the process of establishing scholarships for students to attend Brown University, but “Brown University has free college programs for middle students and high school students."
The Marie Moses Grant award, named after one of Laird’s classmates, who was murdered by her husband in 2002, goes to two African-American middle school students that will participate in a highly competitive pre-college program at Brown University. The foundation also has the Onyx Memorial Leadership Grant, which sends a high school student the Leadership Institute at Brown University Pre-College program.
“It’s wonderful. I think it’s great that they are getting kids involved as early as middle school," said Keisha Robinson, a junior majoring in biology at Howard University. "I hope that other universities follow in their footsteps especially HBCUs like Howard”.
“I think it’s a good thing," said Steven McCraney a Howard University student majoring in engineering. However," I think it’s a shame that blacks had to create foundation themselves in order to give back, instead of Brown alumni as a whole giving back. But it’s still a good thing for the Black community.”