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Tenisha Taylor Bell’s father, Ezekiel Taylor, was a victim of gun violence on Chicago’s South Side in 1982. She recently released a video of the story that has gone viral.

The Former CNN executive producer is now using her tragic loss as motivation to help at-risk African-American males in Chicago through a scholarship foundation.

The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation (ETSF) is a 501(c)3 that provides financial assistance to African-American male high school seniors in the Chicago-area seeking to attend a college or university. The foundation identifies young Black men who have been hurt by Chicago’s relentless gun violence. ETSF provides funding and male mentorship in an effort to educate, empower and encourage.

Bell spoke with Roland Martin on Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now about the foundation and the need to help young Black males who are teetering between doing something positive and getting caught up in the streets.

“[We’re not necessarily targeting] the boy who has the A average or the B average,” Bell said of the foundation’s goals, “[or] the boy who’s graduated. Maybe [we’re looking for the boy who’s] gotten a GED and needs some funding for a two-year junior college.”

Perhaps the young man needs help getting his barber’s license or funding to become a carpenter or welder, Bell continued.

“We all need to put in some effort — some sweat equity– into helping to pull these boys up by [the] bootstraps,” she said.

Bell told Martin, “Those people who killed my dad were ages 15, 19 and 21. So the very type of person who made that choice to take my father from me [is] the type of person I’m trying to help.”

Watch Roland Martin and Tenisha Taylor Bell discuss The Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation in the video clip above.

To support Bell and the ETSF visit the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation at


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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