Black Leadership Initiative


This summer, 28 Black students from Blackstone Academy will explore, discuss, and share ideas about anti-Black racism. Together, they will design plans for action in order to create change in our school, our communities, and our nation.

Janiah, Natalina, and Jahnae, rising 11th graders.
Natalina (center) writes, "I want young Black leaders to make a change in the community. I want to be a leader for other Black refugees like me."


Right now, our nation is reckoning with a long and painful history of anti-Black racism. BLI is a necessary coalition of Black students coming together to interrogate and dismantle systems of power. It is also a space for Black students to join each other in sharing their fears, their joys, their hopes — a space of collective Black identity-building centered on young Black leaders.

It is the voices of BLI youth that can and will create change.

Yennifer and Justice, rising 12th graders.
Yennifer (left) writes, "The anti-Blackness in the Hispanic and Latin American community is something I really want to explore. As a Dominican-American with an Afro and brown skin, I need to use my voice and my experiences in life to spread awareness and engage in the change that is happening right now."


Upon completion of the summer program, each member of BLI will be eligible to receive a $500 scholarship to help further their education. More than 90% of students at our school will be the first in their family to attend college or to attend college in this country.
Systemic racism perpetuates the opportunity gap for Black students. According to a report by the American Council on Education, while Black students are enrolling in college more than before, they continue to complete their studies at disproportionately lower rates. Black students who began college in the fall of 2011 had higher dropout rates and lower six-year completion rates than any other racial group. This is the result of numerous factors, including challenging financial circumstances; segregated K-12 school systems that privilege white and wealthy students; and lack of support from faculty who continue to be disproportionately white. 

The need to support the educations of Black students cannot be overstated. Black undergraduate students owed 15% more than other students after graduation. 33% of Black students accumulated more than $40,000 in debt after graduation, versus 18% of students overall.

Your donation will directly support the college funds of our Black Leadership Initiative members.


Blackstone Academy Charter School is a Title I School that serves students from Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence. These three cities are among the most economically depressed in the state. More than 70% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
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Fundraising team (2)

Violet Ha
Raised $5,582 from 77 donations
Providence, RI
Blackstone Academy
Registered nonprofit
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Nicholas Alves
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