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Bold Activism Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Feb 7, 2021
Winners Announced
Mar 1, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

All over the world, activists dedicate their lives to bettering their communities and the world around them.

Progress depends on these activists to leverage their unique talents and interests, to organize and engage their peers, and to call attention to the issues that are important to them. This work is often unpaid or underpaid but is incredibly valuable. 

The Bold Activism Scholarship will support one determined activist in their effort to create equal opportunity and dismantle systems that oppress through thoughtful engagement and activity. 

The scholarship is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in any field of study. To apply, you will write about your interest in and goals within social or environmental activism.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Determined, Thoughtful, Engaging, Purpose
Published December 14, 2020
Essay Topic

What impact do you hope to have? What action you are taking or plan to take means the most to you personally? Share some of your passion and the ways you are taking action on that passion to improve the world around you.

200–1000 words

Winning Application

Ayan Harris
Hampton UniversityChampaign, IL
To be a conscious black woman in America is to be the backbone of every social-political revolution. To be a young conscious black woman means I hold the revolution in my hands. Amaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are names that sparked the summer of uprisings, demonstrations, and mourning. In my own mourning of these national hate crimes against fellow black people, I started to protest, rally, and attend other demonstrations. After the killings of Amuad Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd I grew sad and angry with this country. I realized that I shared these emotions with the majority of my peers. We decided enough was enough. This summer, I and four other local high school students came together to be the change that we wanted to see in our community. To be said to change, we developed Paign to Peace. ‘Paign to Peace’ is a local organization of minority women in Champaign-Urbana and I have the honor of being one of those women. Within the organization, we have planned three protest marches, an education rally, and are members of the Champaign County Anti-Racist Coalition. Before I began protesting I was shy, avoided conflict, and hated public speaking. I was also plagued with the fears of messing up or receiving backlash for my views. My fear is why I chose to stay silent. That was until I reached my breaking point. I was tired of seeing people who resembled myself or my brother being murdered as a result of senseless acts of racism and brutality. I decided that it was my turn to use my voice, use my power as a black woman, to help my community. At that point, I realized helping my community was my calling. On June 6, 2020, my organization planned Champaign County's largest protest in history. This protest filled me with emotions that I was unaware that I had. Emotions that I was feeling not only for myself but for my community and organization as well. I spoke of Kiwane Carrington, a 15-year-old boy who was murdered by the Champaign Police Department. As I spoke, the crowd was silent, they heard me, they understood the importance of Kiwane and his legacy. Our community members understood that police brutality happens right here in our small town. As I stood in front of the crowd, their energy helped me realize I’ve had the tools all along, it was just a matter of using them. By the end of the summer, I had attended over 30 protests, and have spoken at more than half of them. The more involved and engaged I was with community activism, the more I matured and grew. I have learned that the revolution welcomes numerous perspectives from different walks of life. We have created over three community pantries and a community closet. I hope to continue to serve my community and break these chains of oppression that is hurting my community. I have met so many beautiful people with various lifestyles, who all are dedicated to actively making a difference. Differences that are not solely focused on social media but being on the ground and fighting with us. The courage and actions of fellow activists have motivated me to continue to push harder for my community with the work that I do. As Dr. Huey P. Newton once said, “The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.”


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 7, 2021. Winners will be announced on Mar 1, 2021.

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