Programs

The Henson Benson Foundation is proud to support these programs. Questions? Please send them to contact@hensonbenson.org


Scholarships

The Henson Benson Foundation is dedicated towards elevating the future generations towards success. One of the avenues we have chosen to help the future leaders of America is through scholarships provided by the Foundation. More information on these scholarships will be released during the application period.


Charitable Donations

The Henson Benson Foundation is proud to help a variety of different cause, non-profit organizations, and community projects continue the great work they do through charitable donations from the Foundation. Just recently, we made a large contribution to the We are Victory Community Center in Malvern, AK, in order to fund the transformation of the old Wilson High School Gym into becoming a community center. We have also made contributions to such organizations as the American Cancer Society, The Perla Cemetery, Hot Springs County Historical Society, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture-support Museum and the African American story.


DOCUMENTARY: Unearthing the Dream

Unearthing the Dream is a documentary film commissioned by the Henson Benson Foundation. A small-town African American community, forced to accept second-hand materials for its schools, refuses to accept a second-class education for its children, giving rise to Black schools that inspired and cultivated success and pride. The 1968 desegregation of the Malvern, Arkansas, schools planned to eliminate this separate and unequal system. But in the process, it forced the very students it aimed to help to sacrifice their shared experience and identity. These formative years that most American high school students enjoy and recall with fond memories were stripped away, for the greater good of integration. Forty years have passed, and those boys and girls are men and women with careers and families. Yet they continue to grapple with the memory of this decision made for them, a memory which continues to reverberate throughout their lives.

Directed by Pam Uzzell.



BOOK: Proud Legacy: The "Colored" Schools of Malvern, Arkansas and the Community that Made Them

Every three years, African American men and women, some with spouses, children and even grandchildren in tow, travel from all corners of the United States to Malvern, Arkansas for a celebration that few Americans would truly understand. These men, women, and children are gathered to celebrate a legacy that many outside of the community might wish to forget. They are gathered for the Malvern-Wilson high school reunion, a triennial meeting of the alumni of these, the "colored" high schools in this city of 10,000, the Hot Spring County seat.

As segregated institutions that flourished during the Jim Crow era, Malvern Colored High School and A.A. Wilson High School challenge many of the stereotypes and beliefs surrounding the education of black boys and girls in the pre-civil rights era south. It has been 30 years since the first Malvern-Wilson reunion was held, and over that time the passionate loyalty of the Malvern and Wilson alumni has combined with their wide range of achievements (in all fields of endeavor and in all regions of the United States) to bear witness to the simple truth that, when it comes to education, segregated was not always synonymous with sub-standard. The Malvern- Wilson alumni have, by virtue of their own accomplishments, demonstrated that quality schools owe more to the dedication of the teachers and the support of the community than to questions of funding, facilities, or the local tax base.

The rich legacy of Malvern's African American schools is the subject of this book, which traces the rise of the region's African American community from its earliest origins, during slavery, to the establishment of its first black public schools, and on to the earliest days of school integration. Although the story of Malvern's black high schools begins in Arkansas, this book takes readers far beyond the boundaries of the state, as it traces the movements and achievements of Malvern's graduates, whose educational and professional goals have carried them literally from one coast of the United States to the other.

Book Authored by Ajuan Mance, PhD.