by Cesca Janece Waterfield
Actress Daphne Reid will host the Ninth Annual Oliver Hill Scholarship Dinner, 6pm, April 30 at the Holocaust Museum, 2000 E. Cary St. With her husband, Tim Reid, Daphne has invested deeply in scholarship foundations for more than 18 years, since they first established a scholarship foundation. This year, the Tim Reid Celebrity Weekend will once again benefit the Virginia Scholarship and Youth Development Foundation and will take place May 14 through 16 at various sites in Hampton Roads, Virginia. See www.timreid.org for details. Daphne and Tim own New Millennium Studios in Petersburg.
You’ve been a proponent of education and scholarship foundations for many years. Why is this important to you?
I believe that anyone who has the opportunity to go to college should reach back and make sure that at least one additional person goes to college. We reached back 18 years ago and created the Tim Reid Scholarship Program for students who were what we called “diamonds in the rough.” They weren’t your traditional scholarship students who could get scholarships from other sources. We created the foundation to help mentor them and get them through college with a little more attention. Now we have I think 23 students in different colleges every year. We have a golf tournament every year and huge weekend of activities [to raise funds] for our scholarships.
How did you come to host the Oliver Hill Scholarship Dinner?
I had the pleasure and the honor of meeting Oliver Hill. We’ve done some documentary stories that involved him, one on Brown v. Board of Education. He’s always stood as a champion and an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. When the opportunity came to assist with this scholarship program, I was very willing to accept.
Why have you placed New Millennium Studios up for sale?
We have more land than we can use. So we’re selling. If [buyers] think that they want to buy the buildings also, then we will relocate. But we don’t need all this land.
Will you remain in Petersburg when you sell?
Yes, the company will remain viable.
You were the first African American Homecoming Queen at your university, as well as the first African American woman on the cover of Glamour Magazine. What is it like to have achieved these firsts?
I’m very proud of being in a great place at a time when change was starting to happen. There are many pioneers who were first to do everything that’s been done! I just have been first in these categories. They came with pain, but they came with pride.
You could have relied on your beauty or career as an entertainer. Why did you choose this path of working to ensure the rights and opportunities of other people?
I’m a human being. I live in this world. I want to make sure that those who live in this world have the same access to information that I have. Hopefully everybody’s bright and when I get old and can’t take care of myself, they’ll make smart choices on my behalf. [laughs] It’s a legacy, it’s a life purpose. It’s a life of service and I’ve been blessed to have all the opportunities that I’ve had and I want to help other people to use their blessings to give opportunities to those who are not as blessed.
Thank you, Daphne. Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’m hoping that the community will rally around this event and make sure that there are opportunities for people in this area. The students need assistance. The economic conditions of the world right now pose a problem for everybody and I don’t want education to be on the bottom of anybody’s list. It’s too important to the future of the world.