African American Ivy Leaguers Launch Not-For-Profit Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation Inc.

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Brown University grads create the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation Inc. to encourage Black philanthropy among fellow alumni.

When a group of New York City area Brown University graduates decided to launch a local chapter of the Inman Page Black Alumni Council, they were determined to make it a vehicle via which their likeminded alums could create projects to stimulate and channel strategic black philanthropic actions for the benefit of both Brown and the black community at large. In response -- and with the support of their fellow Metropolitan New York chapter alums -- 1998 Brown graduates Ayana Evans and Felicia Lyde, along with 1982 graduate Roland Laird founded the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation Inc. According to Laird, this 501 c 3 non-profit corporation was designed specifically to promote African-American philanthropy amongst graduates of Brown University.

“Our strategy with the Metropolitan New York chapter of the Inman Page Black Alumni Council (IPC-NY) was to energize area alums through various activities and events,” says Laird. “However we didn't want to have events for events sake. It was and is our hope that after attending an IPC-NY event people are mobilized towards action by donating expertise, brainpower, creativity, time, or money. The Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation harnesses the collective efforts of black Brown alums to make a significant impact not only within the University but within our communities.”

Though it was launched less than one year ago, the Foundation can already boast two successful projects: the Marie Moses Grant and the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Student Coordinator.

The Marie Moses Grant is awarded to two African American middle school students to attend Brown’s highly competitive pre-college SPARK program. The grant is named after Marie Moses, a classmate of Laird’s. It is believed that Moses was one of the first African-American women to graduate from Brown with a degree in computer science. In 2002 Moses was brutally murdered by her husband. At the time of her death, Moses was serving as the Director of Technology for the Pontiac, Michigan school system. The Marie Moses Grant was created to keep her legacy alive.

This year’s recipients are Nadee Lewis and Derek Dunlap of Grace A. Dunn Middle School in Trenton, New Jersey.

At the beginning of the 2005-2006 school the Foundation donated $1,000 to Brown University's Third World Center to create the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation Student Coordinator position. The student coordinator’s work is focused on the operational issues of the not-for-profit as well as for the Inman Page Black Alumni Council’s Metropolitan New York chapter.

Like all current and future Foundations projects, the Marie Moses Grant and the student coordinator is funded by donations from Brown alumni and others likeminded individuals and organizations. All grants are awarded via the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation, Inc.

Future Foundation projects include:

The Onyx Memorial Leadership Grant which will send a deserving high school student to the Leadership Institute at Brown's Pre-College Summer@Brown program.

The George Houston Bass Grant which will sponsor one to three African American high school students for participation in the newly formed partnership between Brown University's Rites and Reasons Theatre and the Providence Black Repertory Company which was founded by 1993 Brown graduate Donald King. The grant is named after the late George Houston Bass the esteemed founder of Brown University’s Rites and Reason Theatre program.

The Fritz Pollard Grant which will send one African-American male and one African-American female annually to Brown University’s Scholar-Athlete Pre-College Summer Program. The grant is named after the late Fritz Pollard, Brown University’s legendary football hero and member of the 2005 class of inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Brother Ah Essay Contest which will provide a $200 cash prize awarded annually by the Africana Studies Department during Commencement Weekend. Open to Brown University undergraduates the contest is named after one of the most popular professors at Brown University in the 1970’s and 1980’s and will be judged by Brown University’s Africana Studies Department and the Inman Page Black Alumni Council’s Metropolitan New York chapter.

For more information about the Ethel Tremaine Robinson Foundation Inc. log onto http://www.inmanpagenyc.org or call 866-375-6284. Tax-deductible donations are welcome and accepted online at the web site.

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