The Paul R. Williams Scholarship & Education Fund was created in 2023 to inspire, support, and celebrate young people pursuing careers in architecture.
To inspire future generations through the legacy of Mr. Williams and other trailblazers in the field, the Fund will introduce K-12 students to career paths in architecture. The Fund will also provide financial support and mentoring to students of color on their journey to professional licensing, with scholarships for fourth and fifth-year architecture students attending one of the seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) offering an accredited architecture program, as well as a program at the University of Southern California, Mr. Williams’ alma mater.
The inaugural fundraising gala for the Fund took place on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, in partnership with the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel, for which Mr. Williams completed a major renovation beginning in the late 1940s, including the iconic signage and design elements of enduring appeal. Images here.
"I’m often asked, 'Why now?' Today, only 2% of licensed architects are Black. One hundred years after my grandfather became the first Black member of the AIA, he would be heartbroken by this fact. As caretakers of our grandfather’s estate, we have always tried to make decisions that he would make. This effort is more than a tribute to my grandfather and other trailblazers in the field - it is a call to action,” said Karen E. Hudson, Executive Director of The Paul R. Williams Scholarship & Education Fund.
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The Paul R. Williams Scholarship & Education Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a registered tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN# 94-3255070.