It is often said that to inspire, one need not be a superhero but merely someone who helps in crisis.
On Monday, October 26, 2020, United Black Family Scholarship Foundation’s Vice-Chair Reginald Hines presented the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Northeast Oklahoma City with a $750 donation, which was the UBFSF’s first installment of a planned $20,000 donation. Hines stated, “This timely and generous donation will assist students and schools during the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused widespread distress and despair for many children and families.”
A native of Wewoka OK, Ivan Kilgore, the organization’s founder, was wrongfully convicted of murder 21 years ago in Oakland CA. He is presently serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Despite his incarceration, Kilgore has became a source of inspiration to many. “My hope is that this donation will become a beacon of hope that will inspire everyone to strive for new horizons, and to never allow current circumstances to limit the capacity to give back,” Kilgore said.
As an incarcerated author, activist and philanthropist, Kilgore incorporated the UBFSF in 2014 with the assistance of friends and family. UBFSF is a volunteer and student-staffed 501(c)3 nonprofit operating in Oklahoma, New York, and California with a mission to Rebuild the Community from within the Community by uprooting the structures that maintain poverty and racism beginning with the most fundamental human need, quality education.
“Our goal is to serve communities plagued with high incarceration rates by providing community members with the resources and opportunities to build skills, while developing economic stability, in order to avoid the harsh grasp of the cradle to prison pipeline” stated Vice-Chair Reginald Hines.
Working with student volunteers at the University of California (Santa Cruz), Kilgore was able to solicit donations from Industrial Workers of the World Labor Union, Gray & Son Construction, Ross Department Store, and several individual donors to begin rolling out our organization’s community reinvestment program, R.E.B.U.I.L.D., this August. Notably, Kilgore and a number of student interns have been able to establish partnerships with a number of student organizations at the University of California Berkeley (Underground Scholars Initiative [UCI]), UC Irvine (Social Ecology Field Study Department) and UC Santa Cruz (UCI), CUNY and Langston University (National Association of Blacks In Criminal Justice).
Despite the impact of the pandemic, we were able deliver the second installment of $300 in Ross gift cards on May 19, 2021. To learn more about the UBFSF and its programs, go to https://www.ubfsf.org.
A Gofundme campaign has also been established for anyone wishing to donate, click button below.