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Spike Lee, Gersh Agency Launch Atlanta HBCU Fellowship Program

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The proud Morehouse College alum has officially launched the Spike Fellows Program in support of students of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC).

You can always tell a Morehouse man, but you can’t tell him much. One thing’s for certain and two things are for sure — you can’t tell Spike Lee about his love and appreciation for HBCUs and the Black community. This is why he has decided to partner with the Gersh Agency to create more opportunities for students at historically Black colleges and universities.

Lee, who has contributed timeless films representative of the Black community from Mo’ Betta Blues and School Daze to She’s Gotta Have It and Do The Right Thing, has teamed up with Gersh for the debut of the Spike Fellows Program, which was created to nurture the innovation of creative talent from four historically Black institutions within the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC):

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Spelman College
  • Morehouse College
  • The Morehouse School of Medicine
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“It is with great honor, privilege, and excitement to announce the Spike Fellows in association with my partners The Gersh Agency and the AUCC,” Lee noted in an official statement. “From the jump, from the get-go, I knew when (not if) I opened a crack in the door, I was bringing as many Black and Brown folks with me in front and behind the camera.”

The Spike Fellows Program will begin this month with five fellows selected by a panel including Lee, members of the AUCC community, and Gersh management. Led by Gersh’s Head of Culture, Jayson Council, the Spike Fellows Program will provide five graduating students from AUCC academic debt relief, industry mentorship, post-graduate internships, and full-time employment, The Hollywood Reporter notes.

As Lee continued on the occasion:

“I know firsthand the education one receives at a Historically Black College and University. I am who I am because of my grandmother (Zimmie Jackson) and my mother (Jacquelyn Shelton Lee) who both graduated from Spelman College. I am who I am because of my grandfather (Richard Jackson Shelton) and my father (William Lee) who both graduated from Morehouse. It’s on the campuses of Spelman and Morehouse where they met, fell in love, and got married. As my elders often told me, ‘Deeds not words.’”

In November 2022, Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, joined Spelman College President Dr. Helene Gayle to honor their family’s legacy with the renaming of the College’s Admissions Office in honor of Spike’s grandmother, Zimmie Reatha Shelton, and mother, Jacquelyn Shelton Lee, both of whom were Spelman College alumna from the Class of 1929 and Class of 1951, respectively.


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About The Author
D'Shonda Brown
D'Shonda Brown
D'Shonda Brown is the Music and Entertainment Editor at Boardroom. Prior to joining the Boardroom team, she served as the Associate Editor at ESSENCE and Girls United, ESSENCE's Generation Z platform. Through the years, the Spelman College graduate has amassed bylines in entertainment, fashion, beauty, wellness, and business across For(bes) The Culture, HYPEBAE, Byrdie, HighSnobiety, xoNecole, REVOLT, and more.