The Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color

Now Accepting Applications For 2024-2025

Established June 22, 2020, the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color provides access for at least one Black or brown student a year to the four-level Certificate Program in Wine Studies offered by the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at BU MET, in a direct effort to reduce racial isolation in the wine field.

To commemorate of Urban Grape’s 10-year anniversary as a example of regional and national success in wine and retail enterprise, store owner TJ Douglas founded the award so that the barriers he’s broken throughout his standout career might make space for others.

A 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Douglas found his success by combining his coursework at Boston University’s Certificate Program in Wine Studies with valuable professional experience on three sides of the wine industry—restaurant, distribution, and retail—to become a leader in the regional and national wine industry.

After a decade in business, TJ and wife and business partner Hadley Douglas knew that they wanted nurture opportunities to support growth and advancement for professionals of color in the wine industry. A Black man working in a predominantly white field, TJ is used to standing out in his career, whether at industry conferences, or even in his own wine store.

While the BU Wine Studies provided Douglas with his foundation, he also knew that sustaining his success required access to resources beyond the classroom. With its the three-pronged approach of education, work experience, and mentorship, the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color helps break down barriers to the beverage industry, creating opportunities for career advancement, and preparing students of color for long and prosperous careers in wine.

As a believer that the best way to foster inclusive environments is to encourage and create opportunity, his reasoning for establishing the endowment is simple. “I don’t want to be the only one in the room anymore,” he says.

While studying at BU MET, award winners are also granted paid internships, at the Urban Grape and other partners. To help increase the regional and global reach of the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color, please consider making a donation to its endowment fund.

Applications will remain open until March 30, 2024. After that time, finalists will be asked for a short interview. The two award recipients will be named in early April 2024. Classwork at BU begins in late May 2024. Internships begin in late August 2024 and run through the end of October 2025.

Download application here

For questions regarding the Wine Studies curriculum, please email To learn more regarding mentorship opportunities, please email

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