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Rayshard Brooks' daughters and son awarded full scholarships to Georgia college

The university teamed up with an alumna and announced scholarships worth over $600,000.

Rayshard Brooks' daughters and son awarded full scholarships to Georgia college
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Rayshard Brooks

A university in Georgia is partnering with an alumna to award full scholarships to all four of Rayshard Brooks' children. Brooks, the Black man fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer in the parking lot of a Wendy's drive-through earlier this month, leaves behind three daughters, ages 1, 2, and 8, and a 13-year-old stepson.

According to NPR, Clark Atlanta University and it's alumna, Aisha "Pinky" Cole—the CEO of the Slutty Vegan Restaurant and the Pinky Cole Foundation—announced the scholarships on Saturday in a joint statement. The scholarships which are worth over $600,000  will cover the costs of full tuition, meals, room, and board.


"It was without hesitation that we made the decision to partner with our notable alumna and entrepreneur Pinky Cole to help the family and children of Mr. Rayshard Brooks," Clark Atlanta University President George T. French. Jr. said in a statement. "The senseless death of Mr. Brooks will undoubtedly have long-term financial effects on the family and these scholarships will not only provide them with a means to access a world-class education but will help them on their pathway of success." According to the press release, the scholarships will become available to all four children when they are ready to matriculate from high school to college.





"When you lose someone so close to you, there is a level of momentum that is lost because a piece of you is gone. I saw Rayshard’s wife Tomika’s pain, and my heart led me to want to help her and her children," said Cole. "Rayshard Brooks could’ve been my brother, my father, or even my significant other. I wanted to remind her that it takes a village and we are a part of her village."

Cole's non-profit, the Pinky Cole Foundation, "focuses on empowering generations of color to win in life financially while in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams." The foundation recently launched a plan to support the health, safety, and well-being of the community during the pandemic.


Brooks died after he was fatally shot on June 12 by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who had responded to a call about a man sleeping in a vehicle in a Wendy's drive-through. Rolfe has been charged with felony murder and 10 other accounts, reports CNN, while a second officer, Devin Brosnan, faces an aggravated assault charge for allegedly standing on top of Brooks after he'd been shot. Brooks' death also prompted the swift resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.


A private funeral for Brooks is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968. King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will speak reportedly speak at the funeral. Meanwhile, Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, will deliver the eulogy.


"Ebenezer is a parish for all people, a sanctuary for those who suffer," Warnock said in a statement. "Rayshard was not a member of our church but he, and his loved ones, are a part of our family. We seek to embrace them, comfort them, and walk beside them in the days ahead."

A four-hour public viewing was held at Ebenezer on Monday, where the casket arrived in a black and white funeral hearse bearing a poster with a photo of Brooks that read "killed in Atlanta Georgia 2020." Hundreds of mourners showed up to pay their respects amid the ongoing national movement against police brutality and racism.


Meanwhile, some Atlanta Police officers have refused to report for work after Rolfe and Brosnan were charged with connection to Brooks' death. "The explanation for calling out sick varies and includes officers questioning their training, officers being challenged and attacked, and unease about officers seeing their colleague criminally charged so quickly," Rodney Bryant, the interim police chief, said in a news conference on Saturday.


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