Dear White People actress and Howard University alumna, Ashley Blaine Featherson celebrates her 33rd birthday by donating $25,000 to support theatre arts graduating seniors interested in pursuing a career in acting. The funds will help with relocating students for acting work upon graduation. The Ashley Blaine Featherson Early Career Grant was launched to directly support her alma mater and Howard University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations hopes her charitable contribution encourages young alumni from 2009-2019 to also give back to the university.
Ashley Blaine Featherson has had a successful year. Most known for her work as Joelle in the Netflix series Dear White People, she has since added to her list of credits after working on Hulu’s Bad Hair film which released earlier this year. Featherson proves that the work does not stop as she has been the face of several beauty campaigns. Even in the midst of adversity and a global pandemic which caused the entertainment industry to take a huge halt, Ashley prevailed and has continued to rack in enough coins to give back to the very institution that helped her.
Featherson shares how incredibly blessed she feels to support Howard University students and encourages her young alumni family to do the same on her Instagram post.
“In reflection of my own path to this point in my acting career, I wish I had more financial support. I was fortunate to be able to extend an uplifting hand back to support Bison pursuing their dreams of acting post-graduation with this gift,” Featherson tells Howard University Newsroom in a recent article.
In order to receive the award, graduating seniors must apply during their final semester and they are selected by the chair of theatre arts in consultation with the department’s faculty. The criteria for the grant is based upon the basis of their acting accomplishments throughout their matriculation as a Howard student, the strength of their application, their commitment to the acting profession and ability to benefit from the award, as determined by the chair.
This is a major milestone for the young actress to be afforded the opportunity to contribute to her alma mater creating room for the next generation of entertainers.
Ashley Blaine Featherson has always used her platform to shed light on issues that affect her community. She even took to Instagram to share how 2020 might have resulted in far less acting but a lot more activism in light of the injustices that have taken place throughout this year alone.
Our hope is that Ashley Blaine Featherson continues to be a beacon of light for her community and the marginalized communities that could use her voice and her thoughtful contributions. The selflessness is surely paying off as she continues to have a beautiful year most recently celebrating her engagement to her now fiancé.
To more life and a blessed 33rd year Ashley Blaine Featherson! Thanks for continuing to do the work and helping aspiring actors on your journey to the top. The work does not go unnoticed.