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The beauty brand Dark & Lovely is breaking barriers for Black women in higher education. The company has teamed up with the College Gurl Foundation nonprofit and actress Storm Reid to create a scholarship fund.

The initiative is part of a larger project led by Dark & Lovely dubbed Building Beautiful Futures. Through the effort—which aims to develop education and career pathways for 16,000 young Black women over the next four years—the brand has cultivated scholarships and mentorship opportunities for undergraduate students. Dark & Lovely and the Washington, DC-based College Gurl Foundation—a mission rooted in providing scholarship opportunities for first-generation students from low-income households—aim to use the initiative to tackle socioeconomic factors contributing to the opportunity gap.

The scholarships are open to Black women earning degrees at accredited colleges or universities in the U.S., having entrepreneurial aspirations, and making an impact in their communities. To commemorate the brand’s 50th anniversary, 50 endowments will be awarded.

Initiatives like Building Beautiful Futures are needed to level the playing field. Research shows racial disparities surrounding financial aid for higher education persist. Actress Storm Reid will serve as an ambassador for the initiative.

“College is difficult enough, and worrying about how to pay for it doesn’t make it any better,” Reid shared in a statement. “This scholarship is an opportunity to alleviate a part of that financial burden and help young Black women work towards achieving their dreams.” Jessica L. Brown, President of the College Gurl Foundation, added that through the collaborative effort, Dark & Lovely and her nonprofit are “championing for education and sprinkling our Black girl magic to close the opportunity gap for generations to come!”

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