“The magnitude of racial inequality is staggering with Black lives socially, politically, and economically marginalized. We are committed to supporting organizations that directly represent and benefit the Black community with the Social Change Fund. Our goal is to create a pathway for inclusion and success by deploying the necessary funds and resources to invest in long-term change.” - Dwyane Wade
Today, Black Americans are more likely to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress than white Americans. However, despite this need, only one in three Black Americans who need mental health care receive it. This is compounded with the fact that Black Americans are also not representative among mental health care professionals. According to American Psychology Association, in a study conducted in 2015, 86% of therapists in the U.S. workforce were disproportionately white, with only 5% Asian, 5% Hispanic, and 4% Black/African-American. This can be disparaging for members of the Black community seeking mental health care.
Eliminating the barriers that exist to mental health care and education in communities of color is an essential step toward healing generational trauma and creating a just society.
Social Change Fund United was created in 2020 by philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade to support critical and timely issues impacting the Black community. Now, they have created The Social Change Fund United Scholarship to help three students of color achieve their dreams of becoming mental health professionals with $5,000 each toward their education.
Black students currently studying to receive degrees in mental health related fields at U.S. based colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Applicants must be third or fourth year undergraduate students, graduate students, or those pursuing post graduate certificates.
The scholarship will support students committed to alleviating inequities in communities of color by pursuing careers providing quality mental health services.
To apply, please share your utopian vision for optimal mental health in the Black community; and how mental health care and advocacy can help achieve social justice for communities of color.