Black Student Fund is 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.

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.

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.

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%).

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.

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

Leroy Nesbitt, Jr.,

Breon N. Wells

Executive Director

Mark D. Schneider

Scott Simpson

Dwight Franklin, Jr.

Jeanie Carr

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

LaCharion Cushenberry

Chester Davenport

Olive Covington

Kelvin Coleman

Vincent Cohen

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 Emeritus

Richard W. Snowden, III

Mitchel A. Brooks, IV

Hon. John T. Chapman

People at BSF

ReNita Raigns

Office Manager

Tyson Toussaint

BSF STEM Director

Gregory Billings

Finance and HR Director

Leroy Nesbitt

Executive Director


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.