The Crusader Newspaper Group

Celebrity Chicago natives empower Black male students

Ezekiel taylor
Ezekiel Taylor

Former television executive producer, Tenisha Taylor Bell, is hosting the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation (ETSF) Gala and Fundraiser on Saturday, October 7 at 6 p.m. at the Chicago Hyatt Centric Hotel on the city’s Magnificent Mile. Scholarship awardees will be presented to the community at the ETSF Gala.

ETSF provides mentorship and scholarships to African-American male students impacted by Chicago’s gun violence. The foundation, named in honor of Bell’s father who was killed, will award 12 scholarships.

“My father was murdered just blocks from where First Lady Michelle Obama grew up,” says Bell. “His life was tragically snatched by teenagers who lost their way. We must give these young people hope and opportunity, something to live for.”

Bell’s work in the community caught the attention of Bronzeville native, Sir the Baptist, BET 2016 Hip Hop Nominee, and Beverly native, Genise Shelton, of Bravo’s Married to Medicine.

“I make music and art not just to inspire, to move us towards a higher mission,” says Sir the Baptist, who’s co-signed by Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, and Common. “That’s why my mission is to partner with amazing organizations like the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Fund to impact people directly, to show that music cares.”

ETSF identifies young Black male students who are middle-of-the-road students and who are often overlooked because they do not possess an “A” or “B” average. “These students need all of us to believe in them,” says Shelton. “The community must join together and be the change that we want to see.”

Presenters for the evening include local journalists and media personalities: Tanja Babich, WLS-TV; Kathy Chaney, formerly of Ebony Magazine; Courtney Gousman, WGN-TV; Publisher Dorothy Leavell, Chicago Crusader Newspaper; Matt McGill, radio personality; Art Norman, WMAQ-TV; and Dorothy Tucker, WBBM-TV.

The foundation, in its first year, garnered local and national media attention. Sponsors and partners include Chicago’s ISF Bank, Chicago State University, Chicago Public Schools, Leo High School, Common Ground, Miss Jessie’s, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Sky WNBA and many more.

To purchase tickets to the gala or to learn more visit:


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