Wakanda might not be a real place (yet), but it is having definite effects on the real world. At the Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment gala on December 5, the stars of Black Panther handed out the first-ever "Black Panther Scholarship" to a 17-year-old bound for Loyola Marymount University.
“We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is you invest in women and girls,” said Gurira.
Coleman, who wants to become a pediatric dermatologist, thanked her parents before delivering a hopeful message.
“I would like to thank my parents who birthed me, who made me who I am today,” Coleman said. “I just want to stand and say this is for girls who live in Compton, who live in Inglewood, and this is for girls and men who face adversaries. I just want to say that we can do it and it is possible.”
Coleman is a part of THR's Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program which takes girls from underprivileged communities in Los Angeles and puts them through a year-long mentorship. All of the 18 girls selected will receive a $10,000 scholarship with 6 girls receiving full-ride scholarships to Loyola Marymount. While the program has existed for 9 years, this is the first year that Disney has funded a full-ride scholarship under the Black Panther name.
The girls were also gifted new MacBook Airs via a newly formed $10,000 scholarship from Lifetime and American Airlines granted every graduate 50,000 free miles to get them to and from their hometowns and universities.