NABJ Member Tenisha Bell Strives to Curtail Gun Violence in Her Hometown, Launches Scholarship
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Posted by: Aprill Turner
Chicago Murder Victim’s Daughter Launches Scholarship to Rescue Black Males
Former TV Executive Producer strives to curtail gun violence in her hometown
September 6, 2016 (Chicago, IL) – Former television executive producer, Tenisha Taylor Bell, launches the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation for African-American male students in Chicago. The foundation is named after her father, who was shot and killed on the Southside of Chicago.
“My father was murdered on 79th and Stony Island…just blocks from where First Lady Michelle Obama grew up,” says Bell. “He was a husband, a father, a brother, a friend, and his life was tragically snatched from all of us. August was recorded as Chicago’s deadliest month in 20 years. The same gun violence that plagued Chicago in 1982, is the same gun violence that terrorizes the streets today,” adds the 38-year-old. Taylor was robbed and killed for his car, his body found at a nearby motel. His killers were only 15, 19, and 21-years-old.
The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation identifies young black male students who are middle of the road students, students that are often overlooked because they do not possess an “A” or “B” average. These students are often forced to make hard life decisions. Bell wants them to choose education.
“These students simply need an education, and they need someone to believe in them,” says Bell. “Statistics prove that children need just one person in their life to make a difference. It’s unfortunate that our country will invest more money into sending a black male to prison, than educating him,” says Bell, who has written extensively on how the gun violence has impacted her family. (Articles: Tribune, NBC, CNN)
According to the Chicago Police Department murders are up 72% this year. August 2016 was the deadliest month in 20 years. Bell and her board of directors aim to support young men who normally might not receive consideration for academic-based scholarships. “As an educator and a mother of a high school male, I see the need for these types of programs,” says board member Dr. Yolanda Coleman, Director of Nursing at Loyola Health System. “We must join together as a community and stress the importance of education. The goal of this foundation is to reach our boys before the streets reach them.”
Students who apply must submit an essay on how Chicago violence has impacted their lives. Winners will be awarded financial scholarships and male mentorship. They will be announced spring 2017 and presented to the community at the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation Gala on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Hyatt Hotel – Magnificent Mile.
“I was blessed with a full ride to Clark Atlanta University. I’ve been blessed with a successful career. People invested in me. Now it’s time for me to invest in others,” says Bell. “The young men who killed my dad needed choices. My dad died and those young people went to prison. Everybody lost. My family and this foundation want to make sure fewer black males feel desperate.”
To schedule an interview or request an interview contact: Amber@PerfectPitchMediaGroup.com
To learn more about the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation visit: www.EZTaylor.org