For DonorsFor Applicants

Monroe Justice and Equality Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Louis Strickland
1 winner$1,025
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2025
Winners Announced
May 1, 2025
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior

It is extremely important to encourage and support diverse voices throughout the American legal and criminal justice systems. This scholarship will help support the fight for balance in justice and racial equality in the American legal and criminal justice systems while giving a voice to systemically marginalized groups. The Monroe Justice and Equality Memorial Scholarship will support high school seniors wishing to pursue higher education and be the moral and ethical difference.

High school seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to apply. They must be accepted to a college, university, or community college. Preference will be given to students pursuing legal studies or a career in criminal justice. African Americans are encouraged to apply.

To apply, write an essay about how law enforcement agencies can help improve their relationships with the African American population. Applicants must also provide a letter of recommendation from their school faculty or administration.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Letter of Recommendation
Published May 24, 2024
Essay Topic

How can law enforcement agencies improve relationships with the African American population in the United States? Along with your essay, include a letter of recommendation from an educator or administrator.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Imoree McGregory
North Carolina A & T State UniversityInglewood, CA
Some may argue that implementing implicit bias training within law enforcement agencies could be a step toward addressing issues of prejudice and bias. However, it's crucial to recognize that training alone may not be sufficient to bring about lasting change. Once the training concludes, there's a risk that law enforcement agents may revert to their previous mindsets regarding prejudices and biases. To truly enhance relationships and build trust between law enforcement and Black/African American communities, agencies must come up with a multifaceted approach aimed at fostering understanding, inclusivity, and accountability. This crucial approach involves key initiatives that a true agent, who holds pride in what their job is actually about–safety, will take. To begin with, law enforcement agencies must prioritize community engagement as a cornerstone of their operations. This involves actively seeking opportunities to connect with and serve the needs of Black/African American communities at various levels. Agents should participate in community events, engage with residents aside from being on duty, and collaborate with community leaders to address local concerns. By demonstrating a genuine commitment to understanding and serving these communities, law enforcement can begin to build meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Furthermore, cultural competence training is essential for law enforcement officers to ensure that interactions with Black/African American communities are effective. The training should go beyond awareness of cultural differences to hold a deep understanding of the historical context, social dynamics, and lived experiences of these communities. By equipping agents with the knowledge and skills to recognize and address implicit biases, agencies can promote fair and equitable treatment for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. In addition to individual training, law enforcement agencies must also acknowledge and confront systemic racism and inequalities within their criminal justice system. This requires a commitment to addressing disparities in law enforcement practices, sentence rulings, and prejudices that disproportionately impact Black/African American communities. By confronting the unfair treatment Black/African American tend to historically and presently face, agencies can begin to address the root causes of mistrust and resentment within these communities. Promoting diversity within law enforcement agencies is another crucial component of building stronger relationships with Black/African American communities. Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, including agents from these communities, enhances understanding and experience but also fosters empathy and cultural competence within law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, diverse perspectives can lead to more effective and responsive policing strategies that better serve the needs of all community members. Enhancing communication and outreach efforts is also essential for transparency, accountability, and mutual understanding. Law enforcement agencies must ensure that Black/African American communities are well informed about their rights, responsibilities, and available resources, such as establishing open channels of communication, soliciting feedback from community members, and actively involving them in decision-making processes related to policing and public safety. Additionally, partnerships with local community organizations, faith-based groups, and advocacy organizations can amplify the impact of law enforcement efforts and facilitate meaningful dialogue and collaboration. By working together towards shared goals and priorities, agencies can build stronger, more resilient communities that are empowered to address issues of crime, violence, and social injustice. Overall, improving relationships between law enforcement agencies and Black/African American communities requires a proactive approach that addresses underlying issues of bias, inequality, and mistrust. By prioritizing community engagement, cultural competence, diversity, accountability, and collaboration, agencies can begin to build a foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation that benefits all members of society. Similarly, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. articulated, a group of oppressors cannot fix the injustices without the inclusion of the oppressed.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2025. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2025.