Taylor — a Black woman — was just 26-years-old when police in Louisville, Kentucky forcefully entered her apartment as she slept and fired fatal shots during a botched raid. The March 13, 2020 incident sparked outrage, protests and demands for justice throughout the country.
None of the officers involved faced charges in Taylor’s death.
Now Sherald is making sure that Taylor’s legacy lives on by donating earnings from her portrait to law students at the University of Louisville who are dedicated to seeing social justice prevail.
$1 million of the profits will start the Brandeis Law School’s Breonna Taylor Legacy Fellowship and the Breonna Taylor Legacy Scholarship for undergraduates.
Beginning in the summer of 2023, those in the social justice field will be able to apply for scholarships of $7,000 and fellowship stipends of $9,000.
Undergrads interested in the scholarships should “demonstrate a commitment to social justice.”
To receive the stipends, law students with 60 or more credit hours must “secure a legal volunteer position over the summer with a social justice nonprofit organization or agency.”
The university’s Interim Vice President for Community Engagement Douglas Craddock Jr. released a statement saying, “Nothing can take away the injustice of Breonna Taylor’s death.” He continued, “But what we must do is create spaces where Breonna Taylor is remembered and where her legacy can inspire us to carry on the hard work of erasing inequality and divisiveness.”
In addition to Taylor’s 2020 Vanity Fair cover, Sherald also painted former first lady Michelle Obama‘s 2018 portrait for the National Portrait Gallery.
Along with news of the funds, Sherald announced Taylor’s portrait would “come home” and be displayed at the Speed Art Museum during Spring 2023.
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