Organic & Natural Health Association surpasses fundraising goals for Williams-Franklin Foundation, doubles down on commitment


The Association has raised $55,205 two years into its five-year fundraising goal to create opportunities in the natural products industry for students of historically black colleges and universities.

Photo © Photo Project

Photo © Photo Project

The Organic & Natural Health Association has surpassed its five-year goal of raising a minimum of $50,000 for the Williams-Franklin Foundation (WFF) in less than two years since it made the commitment in 2021. The Association has raised $55,205 with the help of various natural products industry events and supports, and have raised awareness for opportunities in the natural products industry for students of historically black colleges and universities.

“This is exactly what we were hoping for,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health, in a press release. “It was important to our association to do more than talk about lack of representation in the industry, but rather take action and create an effort that the entire industry could embrace and collaborate on together.”

Major industry organizations including AIDP, Atrium Innovations, Barrington Nutritionals, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Health Wright Products, Informa Markets, Mercola, Natural Grocers, New Hope Network, Nordic Naturals, Pitch Publicity, Purity Products, RedLeaf Biologics, RFI Ingredients and What’s Up With Supps have sponsored, partnered or supported the WFF “Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund,” which has supplied seven scholarships, to date, to HBCU students interested in pursuing health and wellness careers, with more scholarship recipients being announced later this year.

“It’s been rewarding to work with so many industry leaders on this effort. We continue to put the invitation out there to participate and be part of this systematic change that is needed in our industry,” said Howard. “The first opportunity to meet the Williams-Franklin Foundation founders in person, while supporting the Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund will be at NBJ Summit. We have doubled our fundraising goal and want to raise a total of $100,000 by the end of the summer. This will significantly fast track our original initiative by providing HBCU students more opportunities to pursue careers in our industry.”

WFF’s founders Dwight and LaShelle (Williams) Franklin, both HBCU graduates, will share their story in person at NBJ Summit from 11:35 to 11:50 AM PT, on July 26 (both in-person and virtual conference attendees will be able to view this presentation). One-on-one meetings with the Franklins at NBJ Summit may be arranged during the conference through Organic & Natural Health. For those interested in supporting the cause, following the NBJ Conference, on July 28, What’s Up With Supps will host an industry-wide networking event to benefit WFF’s “Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund.” Additionally, Red Lead Biologics has partnered with Organic & Natural Health during the 2022 fundraising events to entice more participation from the industry by offering WFF donors the opportunity to participate in an all-expenses paid trip to Lexington, Kentucky’s “All Jockey Access” at the Keeneland’s Fall Race Meet.

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