Notable Black restaurant owner gives scholarships to HBCU students

Austin spotlighted the importance of HBCUs in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action.
Published: Jul. 23, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A local chef is putting the spotlight on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) while celebrating her restaurant’s second anniversary.

Ebony Austin, owner of Nouveau Bar & Grill in Jonesboro and College Park, held a Stomp The Yard event July 23 at her restaurant to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of its grand opening. Austin used the event to spotlight the importance of HBCUs in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action.

“I don’t want the students to get discouraged and know that there’s no funding for school and any way that the community can pull together and help these young people see their dreams, see their visions unfold, we have to do whatever as a community,” Austin said. “It takes a village. So for me, understanding what that assignment looks like and helping these young people no matter what it looks like with whatever the world is saying, as long as a community, we can come together and help these young people go back to school, that’s what we’re going to do,” Austin said.

“We make sure that we do that by selling our grits every single day and 100 percent of those proceeds go to students that are attending HBCUs. We want them to know that we are behind them 100 percent,” Austin added.

Atlanta News First spoke with one sophomore at Albany State University, who said she received a $5,000 last year. She also received another scholarship tonight to further her education.

“I received $5,000 last year, along with a laptop, a refrigerator, a microwave and so much more,” said Savannah Gipson, the sophomore Mass Communication Major. “The scholarship last year helped me with my housing,” she added. “This year, this scholarship will help me pay off my tuition. My college classes, along with some of the housing that I have. So, I’m blessed and I’m thankful. Gipson said.

Gipson said she’s grateful Austin is continuing to shine a light on HBCUs and their students.

“It’s so important because we need to bring light on why it’s important for our black students to become educated, and how it’s important for us to know our history-- so that we can elevate in the future and be a difference and do the same thing for the ones who come after us,” Gipson said.

Austin handed out 30 scholarships at the event, ranging from $500 to $5,000. The event also had an HBCU Stroll Off from several HBCU fraternities and sororities.

Rapper Young Joc, Jonesboro Mayor Donya Sartor and Streetz 94.5′s Mz Shyneka were among those in attendance. Singer Sylenna Johnson and Dr. Contessa Metcalfe of Bravo’s Married to Medicine served as captains for the stroll off.


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