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Alumni establish fund to encourage leadership in multicultural affairs

RELEASED: Jan. 7, 2011

Angela Pittman Taylor and Angie Hambrick
Angela Pittman Taylor and Angie Hambrick attending an alumni event they coordinated in 2009. The two recently established a scholarship fund to promote student leadership in multicultural affairs.

EAU CLAIRE — Two communication graduates from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have established a scholarship to assist students interested in leading activities related to multicultural affairs and social justice.

The Alumni of Color Social Justice and Inclusion Scholarship was funded through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation with initial gifts from Angie Hambrick and Angela Pittman Taylor, who graduated in 2002 and 2000, respectively. While studying at UW-Eau Claire, Hambrick and Pittman Taylor were involved with most of the multicultural student organizations and events on campus and were dedicated to inclusion and social justice for all students. Pittman Taylor served as president of the Black Student Association for two years. Hambrick was vice president at the time and then became president for two years after Pittman Taylor graduated.

"The student organizations were excellent platforms for getting to know people we might not normally come across in our usual daily schedules, share our experiences and advise each other," said Pittman Taylor, a vice president of public relations for Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee. She and Hambrick, director of the Diversity Center at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., have remained close friends since graduating.

The two were also involved with campus-supported cultural efforts such as the International Folk Fair, Black History Month and Women's History Month activities, among others, and felt they gained valuable leadership skills and cultural awareness from their experiences.

"We had many meaningful conversations with our classmates that allowed us to let our guards down bit by bit, learn from each other and grow as people. We recognized the importance of maintaining an ongoing open dialogue on campus about diversity, inclusion, fairness and equality, perhaps because we were acutely aware of the potential impact of our actions and reactions on other people's perceptions about diverse populations," Pittman Taylor said.

"With this scholarship we hope to validate and encourage current students who are brave enough to facilitate this dialogue, and we urge all alumni who believe in the importance of this effort to show their support by donating to the scholarship."

The Baird Foundation also made a contribution in support of the scholarship fund. Each year the $500 award will recognize a full-time sophomore, junior or senior who has demonstrated active involvement in and a passion for social justice and inclusion. Applicants should be active with the Black Student Association or Student Organization of Latinos. The first scholarship award will be available for the 2011-12 academic year.

Contributions to the new fund may be made through the Foundation website or by contacting Dr. Sally Webb, UW-Eau Claire Foundation, at webbsa@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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