HRC Blog

Morehouse College Announces Bayard Rustin Scholars Program

This post comes from HRC Youth & Campus Outreach intern Matt Aycock:

This week, Atlanta’s Morehouse College revealed a new scholarship program named after civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin. Eleven incoming freshmen at the historically black college will take courses in community organizing and social justice from a curriculum modeled after the late activist. 

Among his many accomplishments, Rustin was an original Freedom Rider, helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, and was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  His friend and mentee Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fashioned his theory of nonviolence after Rustin, who trained in passive resistance with Gandhi in India.

Rustin’s contributions to the civil rights movement have often gone overlooked due to public stigma surrounding his sexuality.  However, sophomore Marcus Lee, one of the creators of the scholars program, hopes to change that.  “The campus will most likely be surprised once exposed to [Rustin],” he admitted, “but hopefully the shock will be followed by appreciation and they will give him the recognition he deserves.”

This past March, HRC commemorated Rustin’s 100th birthday in an op-ed with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

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