Class of 2017 - Jackie Robinson Foundation

(October 23, 2017-NEW YORK) SheaMoisture, manufactured by Sundial Brands as a high-quality natural and organic ingredient haircare and skincare brand and one of the beauty industry’s fastest-growing brands, and the Sofi Tucker Foundation (named in honor of Sundial founder & CEO Richelieu Dennis’ grandmother) have partnered with the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) to provide college scholarships and leadership development to academically gifted students of color in financial need.

Through this partnership, SheaMoisture provides a grant to support undergraduate JRF Scholars attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). This grant funds the Scholars’ participation in the Mentoring and Leadership Development Program, which includes generous four-year financial scholarships and a comprehensive four-year curriculum designed to ensure graduation and success beyond college.

The 2017 JRF/SheaMoisture Scholar is Keilani Williams of Chicago, Illinois, who is attending Hampton University. Keilani joins 57 other JRF Scholars whom the Jackie Robinson Foundation has selected to comprise its JRF Class of 2021. Chosen from 4,700 qualified applicants, the group of college freshman met a high threshold of academic achievement, financial need and leadership potential. Each proudly assumes the role of ambassador of the rich legacy of American icon Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel Robinson, who founded the minority scholarship program in 1973, the year after Robinson’s death.

“We often say that we are a mission with a business, rather than a business with a mission, and like-missioned partnerships such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation truly allow us to work towards fulfilling our purpose of empowering people to live more beautiful lives,” said Emmet Dennis, Chief Community Officer for Sundial Brands. “Through our Community Commerce initiatives, we are honored to be able to invest in building more sustainable communities via education, entrepreneurship and wellness. Our company began based on our individual need to survive, but it continues based on our collective need to empower others to thrive and provide for their families for generations to come.”

With the addition of this year’s class, JRF supports 242 college Scholars and graduate school Fellows at 105 colleges and universities. JRF Scholars receive up to $30,000 and participate in a four-year comprehensive mentoring program that includes practical life skills and leadership training through the Foundation’s 42 Strategies for Success curriculum; one-on-one adult and peer mentoring; career guidance; and internship and permanent job placement. The Foundation’s 44-year old hands on approach has resulted in a consistent, nearly 100% graduation rate.

This partnership will support three JRF/SheaMoisture Scholars in the Class of 2022, who will be selected during Spring 2018. Sundial Brands and JRF will market these opportunities while the application is open from November 1, 2017, through the closing date of February 15, 2018.

Through its Community Commerce purpose-driven business model, Sundial Brands has an innovative partnership with the Sofi Tucker Foundation to invest in initiatives that empower underserved people by providing access to opportunities and resources that enable them to create lasting value for themselves and their communities.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sofi Tucker Foundation and Sundial Brands for their generosity, and are truly excited about this new partnership,” said JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. “With the Sofi Tucker Foundation’s clear commitment to empowering the economically and socially disadvantaged, and Sundial Brands’ strong record of fusing business performance and societal well-being, I am confident that this partnership will amplify our collective impact.”


About the Jackie Robinson Foundation

Established in 1973 to perpetuate Jackie Robinson’s memory, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), is a national, non-profit organization, that administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college students. In addition to generous financial assistance, JRF offers a comprehensive set of support services that includes job placement, career guidance, leadership and practical life skills training, and international travel opportunities. JRF’s celebrated four-year program yields a consistent, nearly 100% college graduation rate. JRF has provided over $75 million in grants and direct program support to over 1,500 students who have attended 225 colleges and universities. The Foundation is engaged currently in building the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City to educate and inspire the public around Jackie Robinson’s courageous deeds both on and off the field.

About Sundial Brands

Sundial Brands, a leading skincare and haircare manufacturer renowned for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic natural ingredients, is the maker of SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture and Nyakio. A certified B Corp company with a Fair for Life social and fair trade certification, Sundial engages in ethical and cruelty-free business practices and manufactures its products at its state-of-the-art facilities in Long Island, New York.

Through its Community Commerce purpose-driven business model, the company creates opportunities for sustainable social and economic empowerment throughout its supply chain and communities in the United States and Africa, focusing on entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, education and wellness. In 2015, Sundial was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and received the WWD/Beauty Inc. award for “Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year.” In 2017, the company debuted at #10 as the only beauty and personal care manufacturer on the BE 100s list, which ranks the largest black-owned companies in the United States. Widely credited with introducing the “New General Market” inclusion concept to the beauty and retail industries, Sundial Brands founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis began the company in 1991 with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, and mother, Mary Dennis.