Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is donating $50,000 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) to fund the new James Weldon Johnson Scholarship.
The fraternity's International President Micheal E. Cristal made the announcement on August 21, during a video interview with NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson.
"As a brotherhood of conscious men actively serving our communities, Phi Beta Sigma's mission is to educate, empower and train the next generation of change agents and community leaders," Cristal said.
"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a natural partner because of our shared connection to Bro. Johnson's legacy and a commitment to empowering our people to be the change we need in our country. I look forward to working with their team to inspire the next generation of leaders."
The James Weldon Johnson Scholarship is named in honor of James Weldon Johnson, civil rights activist, author of Lift Every Voice and Sing, unofficially known as the "Negro National Anthem," and former Executive Director of the NAACP from 1920 – 1930.
A member of Phi Beta Sigma, Weldon was a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and later served as the first African American professor at New York University and a professor at Fisk University. He’s also known for his contributions as a writer during the Harlem Renaissance.
The scholarship will provide support to students who exemplify Johnson's commitment to social justice and community engagement.
"We are thrilled to partner with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated to establish the James Weldon Johnson Scholarship Award," Johnson said. James Weldon Johnson was an instrumental member and leader in our organization and this scholarship will give the next generation of leaders and activists the assistance to follow in his path. We look forward to witnessing our student recipients contribute to their communities and beyond."