New York City university to offer scholarships to honour Belafonte
City University of New York (CUNY) is to offer five scholarships to honour the late entertainer and civil rights leader Harry Belafonte. This was announced by New York Governor Kathy Hochul at the West Indian Labour Day Parade, held in Brooklyn on Monday.
The scholarships, intended to honour Belafonte’s extraordinary contributions, will fully cover educational expenses, including tuition, room and board, fees, books, transportation and personal expenses.
Applications for the scholarships will open in the spring of 2024. The scholarships will go to five deserving CUNY students who embody the values and experiences that Belafonte stood for, displaying a strong commitment to social justice and the performing arts, while overcoming significant challenges, the governor was quoted by WNY News as saying.
City University Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriques expressed gratitude, pointing out that the scholarships will allow students to continue their passion for the arts and social justice, mirroring Belafonte’s lifelong mission.
Gina Belafonte, the late icon’s daughter, was quoted by the news outlet as sharing her deep appreciation for the recognition of her father’s legacy, highlighting the significance of providing opportunities for aspiring individuals to deepen their understanding of art and activism, fostering healthy communities.
The CUNY scholarships will serve as an inspiration and seeks to extend his legacy, enabling students to defy the odds, create lasting impact, and enrich the lives of New Yorkers, the report noted.
Belafonte, who passed away last year, was born in New York of immigrant parents - both his parents were born in Jamaica. He attended school in Jamaica before returning to New York. He was posthumously awarded the Keys to the City of New York by Mayor Eric Adams last month.