University of Louisville’s Black Student Union has launched an online petition drive to offer more than 50 scholarships to Black students.
The effort comes after the Kentucky University Black Student Center launched a petition drive earlier this year to help help fund scholarships for African American students.
“We wanted to reach out to our members who are our neighbors and we have been receiving many messages from members who have been hurt or who have lost loved ones due to this senseless tragedy,” said Jordan Hitt, President of the Black Student Association.
“We feel like there is a real need to get these students and our communities out there and get them scholarships and get their families out there as well.”
Hitt said the petition drive is aimed at helping Black students navigate the complex financial world they face as a minority, and to raise awareness for the many scholarships offered in the state.
“I think it’s really important that we get the word out there,” he said.
“This is not a tragedy that affects all students, but it does impact students in particular.”
Students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who were among those killed in the shooting, are among the many students who have signed on to the petition, which will remain open for six months.
“The outpouring of support and generosity from our community has been overwhelming and humbling,” said Missouri-KC director of Student Affairs David E. Smith.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and those who are still grieving.”
The Missouri-KU campus also announced the launch of a fund to support families of students killed in shootings.
The fund, which is being developed with support from the Missouri Foundation for a Stronger America, will be used to help students and their families pay for funeral expenses.
“Our students and faculty are our lifeblood,” said KU Chancellor Dr. J. Todd Baughman in a statement.
“These are the students who care about our mission and our community, and we want to offer a support system for them in order to assist them in their grieving.”
Hatt said the Black student union plans to host the scholarship drive at their campus during the school year.
Hitt has been involved in the Black-led effort for several years.
The union has worked with the university to create a fund that will help the Black students who were injured or killed.
“It’s a huge honor to be a part of this,” Hitt said.
“As we work towards a day when we can all live in peace, we want as many people to see the scholarship opportunity that is being created and be inspired by the possibility to contribute to that.”