You are currently viewing Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee Expands Support for Descendants
Citation: Image used for information purpose only. Picture Credit:

Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee Expands Support for Descendants

In a significant move, the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship committee has decided to award scholarships to 44 descendants of Virginians who were denied access to education during the Massive Resistance era. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 scholarship for an educational program in Virginia, pending final confirmation of all paperwork.

The decision to expand the scholarship program was made possible by recent legislation passed in 2023, which allowed for increased eligibility. Initially, the committee had planned to offer only 10 scholarship awards. However, during a closed-session discussion on Wednesday, the committee unanimously agreed to fund all of this year’s applicants, thanks to a proposal made by Del. Chris Runion (R–Augusta).

Sen. Angelia Williams Graves (D–Norfolk), who chairs the committee, acknowledged the significance of Runion’s proposal, stating, “Sometimes, you know, people say the obvious. And I think that’s what he did. He just said the obvious thing out loud: If we give everybody $10,000 — and if we pay for a full ride for the two directly-impacted individuals — we are still going to more than likely come out under half a million dollars.”

The expanded scholarship program is made possible by a $2 million investment from the newly-approved 2-year state budget and a $500,000 federal grant, bringing the fund’s balance to approximately $3 million after this year’s awards are made. While the committee cannot provide full rides for all descendants, they are committed to making the best use of the available funds to support as many individuals as possible.

The scholarship program, originally created in 2004, was previously limited to individuals directly impacted by the school closures during the Massive Resistance era. However, with the aging of the original students locked out of school, there have been calls to expand the program to include their descendants. The first application cycle open to descendants concluded in April, with the next period set to begin in January 2025.

This expansion of the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship program marks a significant step in acknowledging and addressing the lasting impact of the Massive Resistance era on Virginia’s educational landscape. By providing financial support to descendants, the committee aims to create more equitable opportunities and promote educational advancement for those affected by this historical injustice.

For More Details: