Black Lives Matter Fredericton announces bursaries for two New Brunswick universities
HALIFAX -- Black Lives Matter Fredericton announced new bursaries on Tuesday for Black students in financial need.
The non-profit created two $500 bursaries to support Black students from low-income families who are facing increased barriers.
The bursaries are for two students each year, -- one for St. Thomas University and one for the University of New Brunswick – for the next 10 years.
"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," said Husoni Raymond, an organizer with BLMF.
“If we want to break down barriers and empower Black folks to be engaged in all aspects of society, we have to remedy the historical and present-day barriers that marginalize Black students on our university campuses,” he continued.
The new bursaries are named after Dr. Mary Lousie McCarthy-Brandt, who is a prominent Black activist and educator in New Brunswick.
“Just as how Mary Louise has supported our community throughout the years, we hope these bursaries will support Black students for years to come.”
Dr. Mary Louise McCarthy-Brandt says she couldn't feel more honoured.
"I thought, 'me?' You know. And then I thought, 'Do they do that to live people. I'm not dead,'" said McCarthy-Brandt. "I was immediately very humbled and I was very, very honoured to have my name attached."
“We are delighted to honour Dr. McCarthy-Brandt in this way; we could not think of a more deserving person to recognize,” said Alicia Noreiga-Mundaroy, a member of BLMF, in a news release on Tuesday.
Dionne Izzard, the director of advancement for St. Thomas University, says while there were programs in place for indigenous students, this is the first bursary at St. Thomas University specifically for Black students.
"We know that this is going to be a great opportunity for Black students and will give them the financial funds that they need to succeed," said Izzard.
Black Lives Matter Fredericton organizers hope the new bursaries are just one step towards equality for Black students in the region.