PFLAG Charlotte was co-founded in November, 1987, by Nila and Stokley Bailey. Prior to founding the Charlotte chapter of PFLAG, the Baileys had opened their home to members of the Charlotte gay community to come and discuss problems in their gay life. They helped parents who had just found out that their child was gay or lesbian, and were having trouble accepting it. They also had a “hotline” in their home that was available 24 hours a day.
When the Baileys heard that there was a national organization called PFLAG, they contacted the national office to ask how they could start a chapter in Charlotte. The national PFLAG office worked with them and walked them through setting up the local chapter.
During the early years of the chapter, the members discussed giving scholarships to gay students who wanted to attend a NC or SC college. The members believed they could raise the necessary funds through contributions from the members and the community. They found that the gay clubs in Charlotte were willing to hold fund raisers for the scholarship. Students could apply and the chapter board members could decide who would receive a scholarship for that year. The amount of funds raised each year would determine how many scholarships they could award and for what amounts. They were able to grant ten scholarships that ranged from $750 to $1500 each.
In 1995, Board Member Harold A Morris suggested that PFLAG Charlotte establish a permanent scholarship fund at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Such a fund would continue in existence on a permanent basis and the chapter would not have to worry about the lapsing of the fund. The Board agreed on establishing a permanent scholarship fund and decided to name the fund in honor of Nila and Stokley Bailey, the co-founders of PFLAG Charlotte.
The Nila and Stokley Bailey/PFLAG Charlotte Scholarship was officially established on March 30, 1995, pursuant to an agreement between PFLAG Charlotte and the Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Under this agreement, the criteria for awarding these need-based scholarships would be that preference be given to gay or lesbian students or to students working within the gay or lesbian community. The recognition of these outstanding students was expected to foster a positive view of gay and lesbian people in our society.
The initial funding for the scholarship consisted of $10,000, with a promise to add another $10,000 within 48 months. The lead donor to the Scholarship Fund was Harold A. Morris. Other Founding Donors were Sandra G. Bailey, Ronald V. Shearin, and Milton F. Thompson (chapter President, on behalf of the Charlotte PFLAG chapter.)
The Board members of PFLAG Charlotte at the time the scholarship was established were: Nila and Stokley Bailey, Lisa Bergen, Linda Fox, Peggy Love, Ed and Cathy Matel, Jack and Kathleen McGarvey, Linda Millsaps, Harold H. Morris, Garnet Phibbs, Leah Solomon, Marcia Solomon, and Milton F. Thompson.
The Scholarship Fund has grown over the years. As of May 9, 2023, the fund had received $56,841.62 in contributions and has a value of $113,878.28.
UNC – Charlotte has awarded a total of $34,652 of these PFLAG Charlotte scholarships, to a total of 34 students. Early scholarships from this fund ranged between $250 and $500. Now, the normal amounts range between $1,200 and $2000.
Donations to the Nila and Stokley Bailey / PFLAG Chharlotte Scholarship Fund can be made by:
- Credit card transaction through a direct link: https://giving.charlotte.edu/pflag
- Make a gift by check payable to: UNC Charlotte Foundation with “PFLAG Scholarship” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: UNC Charlotte Foundation, c/o Brittany Kicklighter, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223