From:"Reis, Elizabeth" [email protected]
To:"'SAFE SCHOOLS:post to main list'" [email protected]
Date:Tue, 11 Jun 2002 15:13:06 -0700
Sender:[email protected]

Dear Safe Schools Coalition members and friends,

The Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund:Scholarships for Gay Males and Lesbians of African Descent:Zami Organization



The Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund
404-370-0920/ 404 370-1392
[email protected]
The Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund Goes National and Provides its First Scholarship for Out Black Gay Male Scholar!

The Audre Lorde Scholarship Awards are designed to recognize out* lesbians of African descent who are making significant contributions to their communities. ZAMI, Inc., Atlanta's Premiere African-American Lesbian Organization and Official Sponsor of The Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund wants to support and encourage their continuing education by providing scholarships to those women enrolled in accredited technical, undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2002, we are also recognizing an outstanding * out gay male scholar of African descent. Since 1997, ZAMI has awarded 22 scholarships.

The Tony Daniels Community Ally Award is awarded to a male student who otherwise meets all the criteria of the Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund. In particular, this scholarship is intended for a brother who works to build bridges between communities. (Preference will be given to a man who does significant work in women's communities.)

Out* is defined as an acknowledgment of lesbian/ gay identify to self, and or to family, friends, and community.



Scholarship Amount ----- $1000


The Mary Anne Adams Award:A longtime community organizer and activist, Adams serves as ZAMI's Executive Director and is the founder of the Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund. In 1999, she founded Sister Outsider, a multi-cultured Atlanta based organization, with a focus on lesbians and aging issues. Adams is also the founder and moderator of Sister Outsider II, an internet list serve for black lesbians 35 plus and AtlZAMI, a national list serve that provides a space for all lesbians. A native of Oxford, Mississippi, she recently received her Master of Social Work from Georgia State University.

The Kelley D. Alexander Award:Alexander, a poet and writer is the founder of InnerLight Publishing, whose mission is to take on sublime projects that move, encourage, and inspire by way of a unique ability to bring inner-visions into physical form. The company publishes works by both emerging and previously published authors and recently published a collection of essays by author Carol Gee entitled "The Venus Chronicles." Alexander, a native of Beloit, Wisconsin studied English Literature and Philosophy at Beloit College and makes her living in management for a telecommunications firm.

The Edith E. Biggers Award:Biggers is a public health physician who has made it her life's work to save lives by taking care of persons living with HIV and AIDS. Since 1993, she has been a frequent voice on the speaker's circuit advocating that access to anti retroviral medications for all patients is a social justice issue. Biggers, a native of Atlanta received her medical degree from Emory University and spends her spare time volunteering for ZAMI, AIDS Survival Project and Sistagraphy.The Sheryl Burke Award:Burke is a personal injury attorney based in Atlanta and California. Burke, a native of Los Angeles, California is a graduate of St Louis University Law School and is a member of the National and Georgia Trial Lawyers' Association. Burke makes her home in Atlanta and is involved in supporting many local organizations including camps, scholarship funds, churches and educational groups. This year ZAMI will be awarding 2 scholarships funded by Burke.

The Ruth C. Ellis Award:(1899-2000) Ellis is the subject of a one hour documentary by filmmaker Yvonne Welbon:"Living With Pride:Ruth C. Ellis @100. Ellis came out in Springfield Missouri in 1915 and moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1937, where she became the first woman to operate her own business, "Ellis and Franklin Printing Company." Ellis served as a mentor and role model to many in the gay community and her home in Detroit became a central location for African-American gay and lesbian underground parties. At the time of her death, Ellis was renowned as the oldest known "out African-American lesbian."

Wendy Belkin, who funds the Ruth C. Ellis Award was empowered by Ellis' life story and has pledged a five-year commitment to funding Ellis' award. Belkin is an Ohio native and amateur astronomer who lives in Decatur, Georgia and for over 15 years has operated her own business as a Tax Attorney and CPA.The Joan P. Garner Award:Garner is the first Executive Director of the Atlanta based Southern Partners Fund, whose mission is to fund and build the capacity of community-based organizations and leaders committed to advancing social, economic and environmental justice across an eleven-state region in the rural south. Garner, a native of Washington, D.C., has a long history of involvement in social change philanthropy and is one of the authors of "Robin Hood Was Right:A Guide to Giving Your Money for Social Change". The Sha' Mendon Award:Mendon, a native of Nashville, TN received a degree in Business Administration from Austin Peay University with a focus on marketing. She currently serves as chief operating officer for an Atlanta IT firm. Mendon is the founder of Kings Crossing Publishing and recently published "Body Language" by C.C. Carter and "Resurrection:A Collection of Work" by Robin G. White. Mendon is committed to developing a well informed next generation of writers, by supporting new and young writers through education about the writing and publishing industry.

The Tony Daniels Community Ally Award is named in honor of Anthony C. Daniels (1965 - 1998), one of Atlanta's most powerful organizers and activists. Daniels was a founder of In The Life Atlanta, Inc., of ADODI Muse, Inc., and of the Black Lesbian & Gay Poets Society. A long-time AIDS survivor, he was a vocal and passionate advocate for the rights and freedom of people living with HIV, poor people, women, and people of color across a broad spectrum. This scholarship is funded by ADODI Muse, Inc:A Gay Negro Ensemble, the black gay male performance poets' collective. Muse members, Duncan E. Teague, Malik M.L. Williams and Anthony Antoine specifically recognize Daniels' work to build bridges across diverse communities.


Lesbians and Gay men of African descent interested in obtaining an application should call (404) 370-0911 or e-mail [email protected]

You may also download an application from our website at All application materials must be postmarked by July 31, 2002 and mailed to ZAMI at P.O. Box 2502, Decatur, Georgia 30031.

We prefer that all application materials be mailed as one package. If the reference or transcript is mailed under separate cover, the student is responsible for making sure that we receive it on or before the deadline. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. (NO EXCEPTIONS) Awards are for the current academic year only and by law are paid directly to the academic institution. Recipients may apply each year for renewal. A scholarship committee reviews applications. Finalists may be invited to participate in a face-to-face or telephone interview.Early applications are encouraged.

NOTE:Award recipients are expected to attend the Audre Lorde Scholarship Awards Ceremony scheduled for September 27-29, 2002 in Atlanta, Georgia. Please mark you calendars...More info to follow. All expenses are paid by ZAMI.

ZAMI:A Carriacou word for women who work together as friends and lovers...


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The Safe Schools Coalition is a public-private partnership of 80+ organizations (government agencies, schools, community agencies, churches, youth/student groups, gay/lesbian groups, human rights groups) and 400+ individuals working to help schools become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Last updated 6/11/2002 by Jean Richter, [email protected]