Page 1





Welcome to the first issue of LDF Connect, a quarterly newsletter that highlights current and former recipients of LDF’s Scholarship Program. Every three months, we’ll be bringing you exciting news about our Hebert Lehman and Earl Warren Scholars and updates on our work in the field and in our nation’s highest courts. We hope to stay connected with our growing community of LDF scholarship recipients and to hear from you.

LDF scholarships are direct investments in individuals with potential. They are also investments in the promise of full racial, social, economic, and political equality. Our scholars come from varied backgrounds: They are athletes and pageant winners; graphic artists and mathematicians; musicians and scientists. They’ve faced obstacles and achieved odds-defying successes. They are a diverse group of people with a common goal: to create a just and equal society for themselves and their peers. In 1964, the family of late Senator Herbert Lehman donated $60,000 to create what is now the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.’s Scholarship Program. Since then, LDF has provided exceptional undergraduate students with aid to reduce the financial burden of pursuing higher education from Brittany Farr, 28 undermining the hard-won gains Yale Law School in access to education. Herbert Earl Warren Scholarship Recipient Lehman Awards are $2,000 per year for four years if scholars “Receiving the Earl Warren Scholarship has validated my desire remain in good academic to better understand the power of racial fear in this country, standing and continue to meet confirming my belief that scholarship is an important part of the the scholarship criteria. fight for racial justice. It’s also an incredible honor to feel as though I’m a small part of the legacy of the Legal Defense Fund.”

LDF created the Earl Warren Scholarship eight years after the inception of the Lehman Fund. Earl Warren, the 14th Chief Justice of the United States, led the Supreme Court in ending school segregation and creating enduring change in access to education. This scholarship provides law students with $30,000 over the course of their law school career, as well as the opportunity to complete a hands-on internship, externship, or guided research project with LDF and an invitation to attend LDF’s prestigious Civil Rights Training Institute.

We could not be more proud to support this awe-inspiring, trailblazing group of men and women.


RACE: 68% Black, 20% Hispanic, 12% Other HOW MANY STATES REPRESENTED: 32 and the District of Columbia

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR LEHMAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS We are delighted to announce that 25 extraordinary undergraduate students have been chosen to receive Lehman Scholarships the 2016-2017 academic year. Initially We are happy toforannounce that 25 extraordinary created with the intenthave to help attend undergraduate students been African chosen toAmericans receive newly desegregated universities in the South,year! the Lehman Lehman Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic Scholarship program continues to deliver on the Initially created with the intent to help African Americans promise of equality. attend newly desegregated universities in the South, the program continues to deliver on the promise of equality. This year, LDF awarded a total of to 25 Congratulations to all our winners! We$50,000 look forward to students. Those selected have demonstrated a record of academic seeing what you accomplish in the future. excellence and a commitment to public service. They are: Tojumi Oluwa Adegboyega (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Adaobi Ahanotu (University of Maryland College Park) Francisco Balderrama (Trinity College) Esther Brown (Duke University) Joshua Cliff (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) Janeise Davis (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) Breana Dupree-Jones (Wellesley College) Youssef Enouiti (Stanford University) Nathan Garcia (University of Florida) Judah Johnson (Columbia College Chicago) Kayla Johnson (University of Missouri-Columbia) Duret Kadi (University of Maryland College Park) Emmanuel Madu (University of Missouri Kansas City) LaKendra Mays (Delta State University)

Danny Nguyen (Southern Methodist University) Alexander Nichols (Davidson College) Alan Nino (University of Oklahoma) Janelle Owusu (Georgia Institute of Technology) Curlet Roberts (SUNY Potsdam University) Rebeca Sepulveda (University of Illinois at Chicago) Tyler Simmons (SUNY Potsdam University) Yahterie-Anne Sykes Ortiz (University of Notre Dame) Nicholas Taylor (University of California San Diego) Raymond Thicklin (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Alexander Nichols, 19 Davidson College Herbert Lehman Scholarship Recipient “This scholarship means someone believes enough in my education to make an investment that will go to so much more than earning a piece of paper but rather equipping myself with a critical knowledge of how to tackle real social issues.�

Elizabeth Wilkerson (Howard University) Congratulations to all our Lehman Scholars. We look forward to seeing what you accomplish as an undergrad and beyond.


LDF has chosen five future lawyers to receive our prestigious Earl Warren Scholarship award for 2016. Created to encourage the future generation of civil rights lawyers, The Earl Warren Scholarship is awarded annually to rising law students whose commitment to racial justice reveals outstanding potential for training as civil rights and public interest attorneys.

Caleb Jackson, 23 UCLA School of Law Earl Warren Scholarship Recipient “As an aspiring civil rights attorney, this scholarship is a dream come true. Most organizations invite their scholarship recipients to a banquet, give them a check, take a couple of pictures, and have minimal contact with them after the fact. LDF, on the other hand, does so much more than that for us through the Earl Warren Scholarship. The financial portion is extremely helpful, but LDF also makes a genuine effort to adopt us into the family. We have been able to meet attorneys from both offices, have candid conversations with them, and get professional guidance as we begin our journeys into the field of racial justice work. For that, I am eternally grateful.”

Janeise Davis, 20 South Illinois University Carbondale Herbert Lehman Scholarship Recipient “Receiving the Herbert Lehman Scholarship meant so much to me. I cannot even begin to tell you my excitement when I received the letter stating that I was chosen as a recipient! With this scholarship, I will be able to continue on the path to finishing my undergraduate career with a lighter financial burden.”

Our 2016 Earl Warren Scholarship recipients are:

Darrius Atkins (University of Chicago Law School) Cambrey Dent (Boston University School of Law) Ana Duong (University of California, Berkeley School of Law) Brittany Farr (Yale Law School) Candice Youngblood (pictured) (University of California, Berkeley School of Law)

Janelle Owosu, 19 Georgia Institute of Technology Herbert Lehman Scholarship Recipient “Being a first-generation student, I do not have direct access to many resources that other students may have, but the Herbert Lehman Scholarship became one of the first resources available to me, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

NOTABLE SCHOLARSHIP ALUMNI LDF’s Scholarship Program has provided millions of dollars of financial support to nearly 2,000 students for over 50 years. It has supported numerous distinguished leaders, including Congressman James Clyburn, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Marion Wright Edelman (Founder and President, Children’s Defense Fund), the Honorable David Coar (United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois), and Nicole Austin-Hillery (Director and Counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice’s D.C. office). The list continues to grow as LDF celebrates the recipients, supporters, and donors walking shoulder to shoulder to advance the mission of achieving racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society. In our next newsletter, we’ll feature a profile of a scholarship alumni.

“What a difference the brilliant, strategic and courageous LDF lawyers have made over 75 years in crumbling the walls of legal segregation and discrimination and pushing America closer to honoring its promise of equal opportunity for all. LDF was an indispensable partner to those mounting nonviolent direct action campaigns across our nation and is in the forefront of those seeking just law enforcement policies today.” – Marian Wright Edelman

Will it be you?

OUR NEXT LEHMAN AND WARREN SCHOLARS Applications for the 2017 LDF Scholarship Program for both prospective Herbert Lehman and Earl Warren Scholars will be online starting November 30, 2016. The Herbert Lehman Scholarship is available to high school seniors, high school grads, and freshmen in college who have applied to or are currently enrolled full time at an accredited four-year college or university. The Earl Warren Scholarships are available to college seniors or college graduates who will begin their first year of law school in 2017. Click here to learn more about each program.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE FIGHT FOR EQUAL JUSTICE Our scholarship program was created to help secure the gains won during the Civil Rights Movement. That fight continues to this day.

• This fall, Christina Swarns, LDF’s Director of Litigation, appeared before the Supreme Court to deliver a powerful argument in Buck v. Davis. In 1997, a Texas jury sentenced Duane Buck to death rather than life in prison after a psychologist, introduced by Mr. Buck’s own trial attorneys, testified he would be more dangerous in the future because he is Black. Christina laid out a compelling case for why the rule of law demands a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Buck free from racial bias. In the process, she joined a short list of distinguished African-American women who have argued before the Supreme Court. Listen to the argument here. • Our Policing Reform team, created in response to the relentless policeinvolved killings of unarmed African-Americans, has been involved in working to transform police departments across the country. In October, LDF co-sponsored a community town hall on policing reform to decide how to reform the Baltimore Police Department in the wake of a scathing report issued by the Department of Justice. This month, LDF’s policing reform team has been down in North Charleston, South Carolina

observing the trial of Michael Slager, a North Charleston police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man, Walter Scott, as he ran away during a routine traffic stop. Our team continues to support the community in North Charleston. • On Election Day, LDF’s lawyers and volunteers were on the ground in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Missouri to ensure every person who was registered to vote could cast a ballot in the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. LDF has long been involved in protecting the voting rights of people of color, including our current cases in Texas and Alabama challenging discriminatory photo ID laws. We will continue to fight to ensure that the Voting Rights Act is restored and voter suppression ends. And, our work continues beyond Election Day. In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharpening our strategy to ensure that the needle of equality and justice moves ever forward. We cannot allow discrimination to silence the most vulnerable in our communities. We must and will stand up for the principles that power our collective dream of a better United States. Through our scholarship program, we ensure that the next generation is equipped with the resources it needs to continue the fight for equality and justice.

SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS By making a generous, tax-deductible donation to LDF’s Scholarship Programs, you are contributing to our efforts to develop the next-generation of change agents. Your gift will provide important financial, academic, and practical support to your people who are dedicated to advancing justice, equality, and an inclusive society. LDF (which administers the Herbert Lehman Education Fund) and the Earl Warren Legal Training Program are both 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that rely on individual contributions to continue their work. Help support our future civil rights leaders. Make a gift today.

LDF Connect - Issue 1  

Welcome to the first issue of LDF connect, a quaterly newsletter that highlights recent and former recipients of LDF's Scholarship Program.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you