Like many of us, actress and writer Issa Rae was deeply impacted by the savage murder of Alton Sterling’s by Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officers on July 5th. The pain, outrage, and hopelessness that we are all feeling, led her to set up a campaign to raise college funds for the five children Alton Sterling left behind. The #AltonSterlingFamily Scholarship was created Wednesday, and in just 24 hours over $360,000 have been raised.
Rae is best known as the creator of the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Since the premiere of the web-series, Rae has developed her own YouTube platform where she features various culturally rich content.
While Rae has no formal relationship with the Sterling family, writing on the GoFundMe campaign page- “If you are feeling helpless, but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling’s family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids).” She went on to assure doubters that “All funds raised will go to Alton Sterling’s family.”
The Huffington Post reports Rae initially set out to raise $40,000 for the Sterling children. She revealed plans for the scholarship Wednesday afternoon, sharing the link several minutes later.
“Thank you for helping us raise the goal!” she wrote Wednesday evening. “I just got off the phone with the Sterling family attorney who is aware of the GoFundMe and has asked me to call back tomorrow, as the family is (naturally) overwhelmed at this time. Will keep you all posted. In the meantime, keep spreading the word!”
She later shared an update about increasing the goal to $200K.
It’s amazing what we can do as a collective group of caring individuals in the face of tragedy. “Wow! $100k in 6 hours. This is so powerful,” she wrote. “Can we get to $200k? I’m doubling my pledge. That would be $40k for each of his 5 kids to go to college. Thank you all for uniting through the pain.”
The campaign has since passed its $200,000 goal and has been shared by thousands in social media- the power of love and unity is greater than anything fueled by hatred and racism.
Issa Rae, We Thank You for #TrendingSocialChange!