Written by | Ray Cornelius
Clark Atlanta University is having the best week ever! The HBCU recently received a $1 million gift from famed alumni and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and his wife Dr. Rainbow Barris.
According to the official press release, their gift will be named the “Kenya and Rainbow Barris Annual Scholarship Award” and will support students majoring in both mass media arts and biology. In addition, Kenya received an honorary doctorate of humane letters during Monday’s commencement convocation.
Kenya Barris showing CAU First Lady Irene Johnson some love
“I am really happy to be honored with an honorary degree from my school that I felt like made a lot of difference in my life and forged who I am,” said Kenya during a private press conference prior to the commencement ceremony.
“I am also happy that my wife and I were able to establish a scholarship. The scholarship will be intended for people entering the fields of mass media and people pursuing degrees in science and medicine. I think it’s important that we as alumni give back to our school when we can. Every little bit counts. I remember how hard it was for me to get through school and know that those troubles are still happening. So the idea of us being able to help someone get through times that may be rough, is something were unbelievably proud to do.”
Kenya graduated from Clark Atlanta University in 1996 with a degree in mass media arts while Rainbow graduated with a degree in biology. She is a board-certified anesthesiologist and has worked for a major hospital group in Los Angeles for the past six years.
Kenya is a major voice in Hollywood right now with two hit series – Black-ish and Grown-ish. He has worked on such popular TV shows as Sister, Sister, BET’s The Game and Girlfriends. In 2003, He teamed up with his childhood friend and supermodel Tyra Banks and created America’s Next Top Model. He has also written on such blockbuster movies as Barbershop: The Next Cut and Girls Trip starring Tiffany Haddish. Kenya most recently worked on the new Shaft movie starring Jessie T. Usher and is currently working on the sequel for Coming to America and a remake of Uptown Saturday Night with Kevin Hart.
During Monday’s commencement ceremony, Kenya recalled finding his voice at CAU and encouraged the graduates to use theirs as well.
“As you guys step off and begin on your journeys I want you to remember that the most important thing for you is to always have your voice. Always have something to say and know that there’s someone who wants to hear it. If no where else, at least the people that you came up with in your community.”
Congrats to Dr. Kenya Barris and to Clark Atlanta University. Go Panthers!
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com