This entry has been published on July 19, 2023 and may be out of date.
We’re thrilled to announce the 2nd ever cohort of the FreeThePlant.FYI HBCU Industry Accelerator and welcome an exceptional group of ambassadors for this year’s class! The Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency (SMART) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) have chosen 10 students who will embark on an empowering journey to bring cannabis education, policy, and resources to HBCU campuses and communities across the country.Congratulations to the esteemed selections in the FreeThePlant.FYI Class of 2023:
Nisha Clemons – Elizabeth City State University
Najah Adams – Howard University
Hannibal Hendrix – Morehouse College
Tremayne Johnson – Morehouse College
Xavier Yancey – Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
Caroline Parrino – Southern University Law Center
Amina Childs – North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Kiana Thomas – Fayetteville State University
Kyeaira F. Austin – Tuskegee University
Jay Collier – Auburn University
The FreeThePlant.FYI program will equip these trailblazers with a foundational skill set, network, and resources as they advocate for cannabis equity, justice, and change on their campus and in their community. DJ Howard, Program Lead noted, “The knowledge and training Ambassadors receive is essential in their development as young advocates and future leaders. It’s an honor to be part of their journey.” Each ambassador receives a stipend, comprehensive professional development support, one-on-one access to industry experts, and takes part in a six-week training program designed to enhance their cannabis knowledge and leadership skills.The FreeThePlant.fyi program is made possible through generous contributions from Green Thumb Industries Good Green program and Trulieve. Through the joint initiative between SSDP and SMART, the FreeThePlant.FYI program empowers HBCU students to educate HBCU campuses and communities on the history of cannabis that has led to negative stereotypes surrounding the plant. By addressing the unique ramifications of the War on Drugs experienced by HBCU students and communities, FreeThePlant.FYI ambassadors will play a vital role in raising cannabis awareness and engaging their community on their rights, laws, and opportunities.In addition to our Class of 2023, we are proud to announce our community partnership with the JUSTÜS Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring and facilitating the entry of legacy (pre-legalization) cannabis operators to the legal cannabis market across global markets. Community members can embody the “Free The Plant, Free The People” motto by wearing one of the limited edition merchandise items including the official FreeThePlant.FYI t-shirt, sweatshirt, and coffee mug available on the FreeThePlant.FYI website. A portion of all profits from the official FreeThePlant.FYI merchandise collection will be donated to JUSTÜS Foundation and go to supporting FreeThePlant.FYI’s current and future class of ambassadors. “As a long time cannabis activist and attorney, engaging the next generation is mission critical,” states Scheril Murray Powell, Esq., COO of the JUSTÜS Foundation. “By engaging these students and intellectuals in an intentional way, we are building a foundation of support needed to remedy the harm caused to black and brown communities nationwide by the criminalization of cannabis. Incorporating cannabis knowledge into academic environments fosters advancements in research, science, health equity, social justice, and social equity.”“SSDP is honored to bring JUSTÜS into our HBCU accelerator program.” said Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. “Scherill and her team are doing incredible work with folks most impacted by prohibition and will be an incredible resource to our national cohort to ensure our work remains focused on justice, equity and community empowerment.”By donating to FreeThePlant.FYI and supporting organizations like SMART, SSDP and, JUSTÜS Foundation, we can all foster a more inclusive cannabis industry and empower the HBCU campuses to become leaders in the cannabis industry. To learn more about the JUSTÜS Foundation and make a donation, please visitwww.justus.foundation or text “LegacyLove” to 801801.For more information about the FreeThePlant.FYI program, our partners, and access to valuable resources, please visit www.freetheplant.fyi.Stay tuned for updates on our ambassadors in our HBCU Industry Accelerator as we strive to “Free the Plant, Free the People”!