VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In addition to releasing a statement on racial injustice, ECPI University has announced it will award $4 million in scholarships to its African American students.
The statement is in support of the university’s African American population and in response to the countless lives taken at the hands of racial inequality.
“The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and subsequent events has opened a dialogue surrounding racial inequality that takes many of us out of our comfort zones,” said ECPI officials.
“Many Americans often feel like they can’t say or do the right thing when in a discussion about race and so they avoid the dialogue. Today, we can no longer look the other way, and hope the dialogue will disappear.”
The statement continues that the events that recently pushed the nation to address issues of racism, police brutality, and racial injustice — now prompt vital discussions and the promise for change.
“Many are trying to view this as a time of awakening. A time where we will all have to face a difficult discussion, but together we will make progress,” officials continued. “ECPI University is proud of our long-standing commitment to diversity within our students, faculty, and staff, and to assisting underserved students wherever and whenever we can. We play our part towards a solution by changing lives and helping reduce income inequality in the nation.”
The university said that it does not support excessive police force or racism. Officials added that part of the Criminal Justice program educates and trains students on diversity, mental health, and complex traumatic crimes.
“Educating law enforcement and accountability is one of the keys to eliminating future incidents,” said the statement.
In an effort to increase opportunities for African-Americans, ECPI announced the LIFT Scholarship (Lead, Instruct, Foster, Transform).
- The program awards $4 million in tuition scholarships, computers, and Wi-Fi access for African-Americans in STEM + Health Care programs.
- ECPI will encourage all recipients to participate in a community service project to help underserved communities.
- ECPI faculty will conduct opportunity sessions for minority K-12 students to highlight opportunities in STEM+H health careers.
For more information, visit ecpi.edu.