ATLANTA — Georgia State University has announced a new endowed scholarship that honors the life and legacy of longtime U.S. Representative and civil rights icon Reverend John Lewis.
Funded entirely by donations from members of First United Methodist Church of DecaturThe John Lewis Fellowship will be awarded annually beginning in Fall 2022. To be eligible for the fellowship, individuals must attend My Brother’s Keeper (Georgia State Program in the University System of Georgia African American Men’s Initiative (AAMI), have good academic standing and demonstrate financial need.
“The contributions of our community partners through scholarships like this support the culture of care in which My Brother’s Keeper AAMI at Georgia State University helps young Black men on their various paths to success,” said Bernard McCrary, director of Black Student Achievement. “The impact of this program and the John Lewis Fellowship will go beyond our students’ years at Georgia State as they work to become the next generation of leaders for service, justice, and equality.”
First proposed by Michael Paul Black, member of Decatur First United Methodist and senior lecturer and alumnus of Georgia State University (MS ’04, Ph.D. ’05), the John Lewis Fellowship was designed by the church leadership in the summer of 2020 to honor the life and impact of Representative Lewis. Seventy of the church’s congregants donated a total of $26,315 to endow the scholarship.
“Decatur’s First United Methodist Fellowship has valued Representative Lewis’s religious leadership for years, and after his death and the racial protests of the summer of 2020, we – as the majority white congregation – began to ask, ‘What is our faithful next step in the fight against racial injustice? said Reverend Dalton Rushing, Senior Pastor, Decatur First United Methodist. “While no individual step is enough, our church’s lay leaders felt that supporting the Georgia State African American Men’s Initiative was a natural step and a step where we could have an impact.”
Created as part of a partnership between the Specialized college at Georgia State and the university Black Student Success Office, My Brother’s Keeper at Georgia State is the largest African-American male initiative within the Georgia university system. The goal of the program is to nurture a community focused on the personal, educational, and professional needs and development of Black male students through mentorship, connecting students to research, scholarships, and employment opportunities. and introducing students to a network of community partners.