PACC Request To LBJ To Fund the Class of 2015 Endowment Fund

Update on Funding 6/15/20

On Wednesday June 10, 2020 the Policy Alliance for Communities of Color (PACC) executive board submitted the following funding request to the Development Office of The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (LBJ) to complete the Class of 2015 Endowment Fund. The Class 2015 Endowment Fund, which is currently $5,000 away from its goal of $50,000, will create a fellowship for 1st generation graduate students and students of color at LBJ. We are currently awaiting a response from the administration but are eager to hear back!

Thank you for your continued support,

PACC Exec Board




Many students of color at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (LBJ) have stated that paying for graduate school is both a major concern and impediment to their education. Upon acceptance, most students of color at LBJ work additional jobs, take out excessive student loans, and resort to outside fundraising to facilitate their education. In fact, this is a national trend as minority students, in general, receive fewer scholarships and funds than their peers.[1] In this regard, the Policy Alliance for Communities of Color (PACC) has made raising fellowship and recruitment funds for students of color a major priority. Initially, we imagined providing a book stipend of  $500 a year and some additional funds to help recruit more students of color. However, we have recently spoken with several LBJ alumni who have raised a significant amount of capital for starting an endowment in the same efforts.

In our conversation, we were informed that the Class of 2015 PACC Endowment Fund is $5,000 away from its intended goal of $50,000. This fellowship would go towards students of color and first-generation graduate students who may have found their journey to graduate school harder than others. Members of PACC are dedicated to contributing to this fellowship and we hope that the LBJ Development Office will assist in raising the remaining funds.

Given this development, we recognize that fellowships only help students that have been admitted and cannot contribute to the recruitment of students of color. Given this, we also request an additional $8,000 a year be raised for a recruitment fund. We hope that $2,500 of the recruitment fund will be split into ten $250 travel stipends to sponsor ten prospective students of color to visit LBJ during OSAA’s Admitted Students Weekend. We suggest that the remaining $5,500 a year be used towards creating a small team of graduate assistants paid with stipends, to assist Associate Dean for Students, Dr. Catherine Weaver, in the school’s recruitment efforts. We envision these students will have the opportunity to travel to annual conferences and recruitment events that are imperative to the recruitment of students of color such as Public Policy and International Affairs Public Service Weekend, Big XII Conference on Black Student Government, Black Policy Conference, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference, Emerging Minority Leaders Conference, and more. As of now, potential students of color see very little representation at recruitment events from the LBJ School.

We are willing to work with the administration to increase the number of qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds; however, this can only be accomplished through strong institutional and financial contributions.


We view this endowment as beneficial for several reasons. First, the state of Texas is highly diverse and LBJ needs to become more representative of the state. According to the 2018 US Census Bureau estimates, the population of Texas was 73.5% White (41.4% Non-Hispanic White and 32.1% Hispanic White), 12.3% Black or African American, 5.0% Asian, 0.5% Native American and Alaskan Native, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.0% Other, and 2.7% from two or more races[2]. Based on these demographics LBJ is relatively unrepresentative of the state.

As a highly ranked policy school, it is imperative that LBJ be a leader in all things including diversity, equity, and inclusion. Representation, all though not the only step, is a necessary step for developing well rounded and experienced policy professionals. Texas is rapidly changing demographically so it follows that its young leaders will continually come from diverse backgrounds. However, if students do not see themselves represented at the LBJ School, then they will continually go out of state to attend our competitors like University of Michigan- Ann Harbor (Ford), University of California-Berkeley (Goodman)and University of Virginia (Batten).

Second, there are untapped networks of minority students and prospective students within the state of Texas that these stipends and the endowment would bolster. Texas is home to nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) (Appendix A). Texas’ HBCUs graduate thousands of government students a year and with additional funding we could begin attracting some of those students for LBJ’s master’s programs. Furthermore, Texas is also home to more than thirty Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). An HSI is defined as an institution of higher education that has at least a quarter of its student body identify as Hispanic or Latinx (Appendix B). These institutions also graduate thousands more potential LBJ students that will be leaders throughout the State of Texas.

Moreover, it should also be stated that the number of Asian American students is relatively small at LBJ, where more than 20% Asian students are represented at UT as a whole [3]

Lastly, we would like to point out that the continual conversations about the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion at LBJ is taxing in many ways. These conversations often cost time and money of our select professors who constantly must discuss the lack of representation in the school. For students, it is distracting from our education to often be the sole representatives of our ethnicities and nationalities in the classroom. Furthermore, students at LBJ have historically mentioned that there was not enough being done to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. We posit that the biggest display of commitment to these efforts can be shown via financial contributions. These good faith efforts could be, at a small financial cost, used to show that the LBJ School has a commitment to creating an inclusive and racially diverse student body.


As previously stated, the Class of 2015 PACC Endowment Fund lacks $5,000 dollars which is a relatively small sum of money compared to the thousands that professors often request for their research. In addition, ten $250 stipends could subsidize the cost of hotel, driving, and/or food for an admitted student of color. Finally, $5,500 towards the efforts of creating and funding a team of students to help with recruitment and diverse representation. We hope that the LBJ Development Office can assist in raising this amount in a quick and efficient way. We could offer this money specifically to students at a few of the schools in the system if they apply.


We the PACC students have spent our time and money investing in this school and we are deeply committed to positively influencing it. We view the Class of 2015 PACC Endowment Fund, travel stipends, and recruitment team as not only investments in our communities but also, positive investments in the future leaders of Texas, the United States, and the world. We hope that LBJ Office of Development will help raise money to contribute to the fund and help raise the requested funds for recruitment.

We thank you for your time, effort, and consideration in a cause that we are deeply passionate about.

Hook ‘em,

PACC Executive  Board


Azeem Edwin


MGPS/ Law Class of 2023

Barbara Kufiadan


MPAff Class of 2021

Shahd Elbushra


MPAff Class of 2021

Jonathan Cereceres

Event Coordinator

MPAff Class of 2021

Raven Langhorne


MGPS/EER Class of 2022





[2] B03002 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE – Texas – 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates”. U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2019.


Published by

Azeem Edwin

Co- Chair of PACC

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