Wiley College receives a $50,000 Gift for social good inititaves

Wiley College received a gift of $50,000 to strengthen the college’s commitment to social good and leadership. These funds will support the work of the Heman Sweatt Center for Social Good and Leadership, a body founded in 2019 to encourage student involvement in social betterment projects on the college, community, and state levels. The Center provides students with full academic scholarships to support their social good ideas and endeavors and engages the campus community in realizing social good goals through training, campus-wide discussions, service learning, and projects.

The donor—Julie de Sherbinin from the state of Maine—believes that the unequal distribution of wealth in the United States can be partially rectified if well-resourced citizens share the unearned inheritance with those who have historically been largely excluded from the intergenerational transfer of wealth. She was moved by the College’s focus on social good, particularly during this academic year’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. The donor has significantly contributed to increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity through her own personal work and career. The gift is an extension of that commitment. Dr. Tashia Bradley, Wiley College COO, shared, “I have known Julie for over 10 years and have been impressed with her allyship. Working alongside her has proven impactful. I was extremely excited to learn that she wanted to extend her allyship through a gift to Wiley College.  True allyship isn’t simply saying that you believe in diversity, but demonstrating through continuous reflection on one’s power and privilege and generating action to increase a more just and equitable society.”

This year the Heman Sweatt Center will honor the College’s 150th celebration through the programmatic theme – Past/Present Perspectives. This gift helps to increase access to start-up funds on the part of students and faculty wishing to institute change initiatives that promote social justice.  Additionally, the College will offer a new opportunity for an activist in residence to join Wiley College for a semester.

“We are really excited about this gift and the ways it will help to build a foundation for the work of students. The Heman Sweatt Scholars have begun designing their projects, knowing they have a donor who believes in their work. They are truly inspired by this gift.” shared Dr. Keyona White, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice/Co-Executive Director of the Heman Sweatt Center.

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