On January 19, Black Lives Matter Fredericton (BLMF) announced its creation of a bursary available to black students of UNB and STU.
“We know that black students faced enhanced barriers in accessing post-secondary education, and this was one way in which we could help to break down those barriers for them,” said Husoni Raymond, an organizer with BLMF.
Raymond says that if the barriers are to be broken down, black folks need to be empowered to engage in all aspects of society and the bursary is just the beginning of that.
“The data is clear that black students are more likely to be from low-income families and face enormous barriers when attending post-secondary institutions,” explained Raymond.
The group had been working on the creation of this bursary since August 2020 and plan for it to be given out for the next ten years.
Each year, one student from both UNB and STU will be awarded the bursary in the sum of $500. The bursary is based solely on financial need, and students must be in good academic standing with the university.
“The universities will be able to access financial needs using their respective processes. We decided to focus on financial need to target the students who need help the most,” said Raymond.
The organization has received a lot of donations since they started in June, which is where the funding for the bursary comes from, and they hope to receive more donations in the future.
The bursary was named after prominent black activist and educator Mary Louise McCarthy, who BLMF reports has been a pillar of support.
“UNB’s mission is to inspire and educate people to become problem solvers and leaders in the world. This bursary will help make post-secondary education more affordable for marginalized students, and that’s a great step forward,” said Shelley Clayton, Director of the Financial Aid office at UNB.
“We hope that this will open up the conversation on the need for targeted financial aid for equity deserving students,” concluded Raymond.