In the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020 and in solidarity with protests sparked throughout the country and across the world, Northeastern Illinois University answered the call to action from Dr. Scott Hagan, President of North Central University, to establish a scholarship to honor Mr. Floyd’s memory. We say his name and honor his legacy by continuing to educate the next generation of diverse leaders to address systemic racism, inequality and injustice in its many forms.
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The George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship establishes a permanent resource for NEIU students, the majority of whom are people of color, who are dedicated to pursuing leadership roles in the multifaceted, intersectional work of social justice.
Through contributions to the NEIU Foundation, the University created an endowed scholarship with an initial fundraising goal of $50,000. That goal was surpassed, and today, the endowment continues to grow in support of students.
The George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship has built upon Northeastern’s long-established history of activism as the next generation of conscientious organizers, activists, educators, social workers, scholars, business leaders and elected officials are empowered to serve.
In the first year of the George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship, the University awarded $5,000 each to three outstanding students: Kaleb Bakari Autman, Timothy Jefferson and Donovan McKinley. While all three students are now connected by this scholarship, they have their own unique views of social justice and have taken different paths to promote equality in their communities.
In February of 2022, two additional students were announced as recipients of the George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship for fiscal year 2022: Tamaya Levy (current graduate student, Linguistics), and Javonti Mordican (current undergraduate student, Communication, Media and Theatre).
The third set of George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship recipients were announced by President Gloria J. Gibson on January 19, 2023: Asha Brown, current undergraduate student studying Sociology; and Prentice Hills, current undergraduate student studying Social Work.
"I am very proud to recognize Asha and Prentice for their courageous leadership and commitment to social justice," said Dr. Gibson. “As we support the educational promise of our aspiring socially conscious leaders, we acknowledge their talents and potential to change the world.”
Shaull, L. (Photographer). (2020, June). Mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.