USA TODAY recently reported that technology investor and entrepreneur Arlan Hamilton is funding a brand new scholarship for black undergraduate students at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, a first for the world-renown educational institution.
To quote the article:
The scholarship, partly named for Hamilton’s mother, will cover fees and living costs for one undergraduate student a year for three years beginning in 2020. The value of the scholarship fund is about £220,000 (or nearly $300,000), Oxford said.
Hamilton is a former music tour manager without a college degree who bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco with the goal of backing underrepresented entrepreneurs. She was so broke that she met with tech investors by day and slept on the floor of the San Francisco airport at night until one of them cut her a check.
Today she runs Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm that backs women, minority and LGBTQ founders who are overlooked by Silicon Valley and reflects Hamilton’s determination to overcome the complex set of biases and barriers that begin in preschool and persist in the workplace that keep women and people of color from gaining equal access to some of the nation’s highest-paying jobs.
According to Madame Noire, Hamilton doesn’t plan on just eyeing prestigious institutions known for their lack of diversity. She also plans to focus on America’s historically Black colleges, beginning with Dillard University in New Orleans. The Dillard scholarship is slated to launch in the spring.
“I plan on doing this for several schools over the next decade, and starting with Oxford because I’ve spent a great deal of time with their students and faculty, and Dillard because it’s my mom’s alma mater and shaped her,” Hamilton said.