Providing an academic foundation for youth
The Bridge Builders Foundation (BBF) is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1998 and aims “to remove barriers of race, poverty, ignorance and despair and to improve life trajectories by providing social, emotional, and educational support for vulnerable ethnic minority youth and communities.”
BBF offers and directs three programs that concentrate on leadership and mentoring, encouraging diversity in higher education as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education.
In support of that mission, BBF will host on June 3 its 41st Annual Salute and Scholarship Awards Luncheon at the Torrance Marriott-Redondo Beach, 3635 Fashion Way, in Torrance. BBF will award 46 scholarships to young Black men who will receive funding to assist in achieving their academic goals. The luncheon will include a live jazz performance, by the Inner-City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles
The California Community Foundation, Austin Jackson and the Chanin Family Scholarship Fund are the leaders in sponsorship for BBF. The California Community Foundation has contributed more than $250,000 over the past two years, while Jackson has donated $75,000 over the past three years. The Chanin Family Scholarship Fund has contributed $27,500 since the beginning of the year.
James Breedlove, BBF president, said "The scholarship program soars with support from California Community Foundation, Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund (LASIF), Austin Jackson, The Chanin Family Foundation, and Pacific Premier Bank. They invest in African American males' post-secondary excellence, enabling us to recruit, commit, and support more deserving scholars annually, though regretfully, we are forced to decline many deserving scholars."
The scholarships awarded will total more than $200,000. BBF will also recognize four community leaders for their work in the community. All four leaders are actively involved in their communities and are role models to potential scholarship recipients. The four participants who will be honored and receive awards at the luncheon include Martin Muoto, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Tammy Tumbling and Karim Webb.
Muoto is the CEO and Founder of SoLA Impact, which is a company of real-estate funds that have a strategy that focuses on preserving, rehabilitation and building high-quality housing that is affordable to the public. Muoto also funded the Black Impact Fund in order to reach urban cities looking for similar services. Muoto will be the recipient of the Manhood Award.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Eighth District) will receive the BBF Scholarship Award. Harris-Dawson has worked to help alleviate homelessness, creating new job opportunities and supporting community policing and a clean environment to thrive and dwell in.
The recipient of the Perseverance Award is Tammy Tumbling. Tumbling is the Vice President and Chief operating office of the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF). She’s also the founder of the OCCF’s African American Alliance Fund. The fund raises awareness regarding systemic racism and support programs that assist African Americans near and in Orange County. It also assists with education, health, human services, economic and civic engagement.
The Uplift Award recipient will be Karim Webb. Webb co-founded the PCF Restaurant Management, a franchise of delicious Buffalo Wild Wings. Webb owns four restaurants in Los Angeles and four are underway. He aims to provide an unbiased and objective restaurant industry, giving him a well-deserved spot on the 2021 NRN Power List. Additionally, he is an entrepreneurial activist and a partner with Slauson & Co., a venture capital firm which invests in tools, platforms and assisting people with small business development.