Ancestor Oak Scholarship

The Ancestor Oak Scholarship was established in 2024 by Marschel Paul and Margaret Sutro to support the education of students of color pursuing social change work through policy advocacy or social services. 

About the Creation of the Scholarship:

Marschel Paul and Margaret Sutro adopted the Pacific Northwest as their home in 1983, when they left New York City seeking a livable combination of nature and art, They discovered Pride Foundation in the 1990’s, became donors, and continued supporting the organization over the decades to follow. Marschel spent a substantial part of her working life involved in non-profit management, including serving in various roles on Pride Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors between 1999 and 2011. Margaret, a mental health counselor in private practice for over thirty years, was in the vanguard of clinicians engaging the practical and creative potential of embodiment.

Both women served on various Pride Foundation Scholarship review teams over the years and were deeply inspired by the LQBTQ+ and ally candidates and their dreams to change the world. Sharing a particular interest in economics and social justice, Marschel and Margaret established this scholarship fund hoping to encourage visionary leadership in the coming generation.

Oak trees were one of the first tree species in the world, dating back to 56 million years. They are deeply regarded in many cultures for their long life spans and biodiversity. Oak trees generally represent strength, endurance, loyalty, and freedom. The Ancestor Oak Scholarship was created in the spirit of honoring the leaders before us, preparing for those after us, and working strategically with those around us.

By acknowledging that public policy has historically supported a racial wealth divide in the U.S., the donors seek to support the repair of institutionalized inequities. It is the donors’ hope that this scholarship fund will encourage BIPOC and Latinx students who have the curiosity and leadership skills to study, and ultimately influence, some of the most complex issues of the 21st century.

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