Black Student Fund is an exemplary education equity organization in the Washington, DC area. To make a better tomorrow, we empower scholars with the resources needed to solve the academic challenges of today. “Building Strong Futures” is our motto. It represents our belief in the power of education, the importance of excellence, and the value of achievement.

Black Student Fund Advisor tutoting children in 1964.
Founding and Early Struggles (1964 - 1970)

The Black Student Fund (BSF) was founded in 1964, following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic March on Washington in 1963, where people of all races demanded immediate change.

During the 1960s, black enrollment at independent schools in the Washington, D.C. area was extremely low, languishing at 1% or less in many schools.

Private schools lagged behind public schools in achieving diversity, prompting the BSF to become one of the few organizations dedicated to addressing inequality at elite institutions.

The BSF embodied the spirit of multiracial cooperation and focused on expanding educational opportunities as the key to achieving the "Beloved Community" that Dr. King envisioned.

Founding and Early Struggles (1964 - 1970) - Black Student Fund
BSF's Impact and Growth (1970 - 2000)

Despite starting with a modest endowment of $8,850, the BSF received massive community support and monetary contributions over the decades.

Through tuition scholarships worth millions, the BSF made a significant impact on students, families, and faculty in independent schools.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy recognized BSF as one of the region's finest charities, praising its comprehensive programs tailored to students and their environments.

Over the years, the BSF earned the respect and endorsement of influential figures from various fields, including politicians, business leaders, clergy members, and educators.

BSF's Impact and Growth (1970 - 2000) Black Student Fund founders
Promoting Diversity and Racial Equity (2000 - Present)

BSF's efforts have led to significant progress in increasing racial diversity in independent schools across the Washington, D.C. area.

BSF Member schools in the region generally boast a higher degree of racial diversity compared to independent schools nationwide.

The institution continues to address ongoing challenges and disparities, acknowledging the need for sustained efforts to promote diversity and equity in education.

Despite the successes achieved, there remains a discrepancy between the percentage of Black students in public schools (approximately 16%) and those attending private schools (approximately 10%).

Promoting Diversity and Racial Equity (2000 - Present) Black Student Fund.
BSF's Legacy and Future (Present - Ongoing)

As BSF celebrates nearly six decades of service, it takes great pride in the strides made in promoting educational opportunities and racial diversity.

The institution has gained recognition and support from prominent individuals, including Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Ambassador Susan Rice, and Justice Thurgood Marshall, among others.

BSF remains committed to its mission of excellence and service, acknowledging that its most remarkable history is yet to be written.

Looking ahead, BSF will continue to strive for progress, advocating for equal access to education and aiming to create a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape.

BSF's Legacy and Future (Present - Ongoing) Black Student Fund.
Our Member Network.

Enroll your child today in the BSF Schools community and open the door to a world of educational opportunities.

Our People

BSF is a collective organization directed by a Board and Staff and powered by a community of supporters both individuals and entities.

Board of Trustees
Breon N. Wells
Executive Director
Mark D. Schneider
Olutosin Aje-Adegbite
Adewale Omoniyi
Joel S. Kanter, Chair
Sean A. Floyd, Secretary
Former Trustees
Madeleine Albright
Carl Jeffery Wright
Burma A. Whitted
Karen Hastie Williams
Honorable Zinora Mitchell-Rankin
Barbara W. Williams, PhD.
Ron Wilmore
Clarice Walker
Maria Walker
Rt. Rev. John T. Walker
Jean Warnke
Gwen Thompson
Diana Leon Taylor
David Tatel
Zachary S. Smith
Mark P. Schlefer
Genevieve R. Stirling
Nancy Stevenson
Sarah Stettinius
Robert Stein
Grace E. Speights
Alice Rivlin
Gloria Runyon
Barbara S. Rothkopf
Sarah Jessica Roth
Frank Ross
Townsend Robinson
Stacy Robinson
Walter T. Ridder
Louis Rice
Franklin D. Raines
Stephen J. Pollak
John Oxendine
Barbara Patterson
Patricia Meyers
Marianne Niles
Louis F. Oberdorfer
Fan S. Oglvie
Virginia Murphy
Carlotta Miles
Kathleen Matthews
Allison S. MacLean
Louis Martin
Gayle Lewis
Karenga Lemmons
Nick Kotz
Peter C. Labovitz
Lydia Katzenbach
Betsy Karel
Virginia Johnson
Georgia Irvin
Joseph Horning Jr
Steve C. Hines
Deborah Hechinger
Bruce Hanson
Seth J. Harvey
Vivian Hamilton
Gene Gordon
Diana Goldberg
Michele Hagans
Marcia Greenberger
Ernest G. Green
Eric C. Grant
Scott D. Gilbert
Albion Ferrell
Joanne Doddy Fort
Patricia Flem
Nancy M. Folger
Lee Carol Cook, Esq.
James Dyke
Damien Dwin
Jane Holmes Dixon
Michael DeSantis
Eunice Demuth
Siobhan Davenport
Chester Davenport
LaCharion Cushenberry
Olive Covington
Kelvin Coleman
Vincent Cohen, Sr.
James Christian
Thomas Cholis Jr
Hope Childs
Lloyd Casson J
Joseph W. Barr
Alfonso L. Carney Jr
David Carliner
Solon Candage
Colin P. Carew
Conrad Cafritz
Carlton Byrd
Landon Butler
Susan L. Burke
Stacie B. Burgess
Denise C. Buchanan
Von Bryant, Esq.
Andrew F. Brimmer
Peter Branch
Katherine Bradley
Joanne Bradley
Trustee Emeriti
Dwight Franklin, Jr.
Jeannie Carr
Richard W. Snowden, III
Mitchel A. Brooks, IV
Hon. John T. Chapman
People at BSF
DelShaun Adams
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Kerwin E. Miller
Flying Tigers China Program Manager
Tyson Toussaint
BSF STEM Director
Gregory Billings
Finance and HR Director
Leroy Nesbitt
Executive Director
58 Endeavors
Technology Playground
Cheryl D. Taylor, MPA, MSW, LCSW-C
The HBCU Museum
X is Possible
Round House Theatre
Ronald Thomas Photography
Plenty to Eat
The CALPRO Group
Tickets For Kids
Michael Shane Plowden Jr. Loving Legacy Foundation
iD Tech
McGhee & Associates, LLC
Lazarus Foundation
André Carley Graphic Design
Dr. Rona Frederick
Latino Student Fund
The Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation

Our Sponsors

BSF Basics
What is Black Student Fund?

BSF is an educational equity organization working in the independent K-12 school community and advancing academic excellence.

How does BSF help with tuition costs for K-12 independent schools?

BSF Scholars at BSF member schools receive a small tuition payment of $300 to $500 yearly. BSF also assists families with educational expenses, summer learning opportunities and emergency assistance.

How do you charge for projects?

On line applications for BSF will be available on December 1, 2023. Visit AccessBSF for additional information.

What kinds of schools are BSF Member Schools?

BSF Member Schools are independent schools K-12 schools in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Visit AccessBSF to learn more.

What programs does BSF offer students and families at independent schools?

BSF offers academic, college placement, essential services, youth development and summer programs.

What is BSF STEM?

BSF STEM is a collection on enrichment STEM focused programs and activities. Visit BSF STEM to learn more.

What is the BSF/LSF School Fair?

The BSF/LSF Annual School Fair is a forum for Washington metropolitan area families to learn about independent school education and engage students, teachers and administrators from independent schools.

Does BSF provide advice and counsel to families?

Yes, call or email BSF.

What options do I have if my child is not accepted?

Many admissions offices are available to discuss the decision-making process and to show you how your child compared to the rest of the candidate pool. During this discussion, if your child has been offered a place on a wait-list, ask for an assessment of chances for later admission, including enrollment for the following year. If an admissions director does not feel the school is a good fit for your child, he or she may make alternative recommendations.