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George Floyd Scholarship Fund

OU George Floyd Memorial Scholarship supports student leaders

Clarification appended.

Ohio University developed the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship, an honor that will be awarded to students who present leadership within multicultural organizations.

On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in Minneapolis police custody after a convenience store employee called 911 and told police Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill. 

One of the officers at the scene was videoed by a bystander as he pinned Floyd to the ground and kept his knee on his neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds. Floyd expressed that he couldn’t breathe, but the officer wouldn’t remove his knee while the other officers at the scene stood by. 

The death of Floyd was one of many incidents of police officers killing an unarmed Black person without investigating the allegations. The Black Lives Matter movement was around long before Floyd’s death, but his death led to an uprising within the movement. 

Protests were held in cities and towns all across the world, demanding the immediate removal from the force and arrest of the officers involved. All officers involved have since been fired and charged. Black Lives Matter protestors also denounced, and continue to denounce, more broad causes, such as the continuity of racial injustice and police brutality in America. 

“The newly-established George Floyd Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to current and prospective students who demonstrate leadership through multicultural student organizations and diversity-based initiatives at Ohio University and/or their local communities,” Carly Leatherwood, executive director of communications at OU, said in an email.

Applications for the scholarship will be accepted until Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. on the OU website

The Ohio University Foundation created the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship after a call from Scott Hagan, president of North Central University, recommending that universities create a scholarship in honor of Floyd and the racial justice movement. 

“To date, more than a dozen U.S. colleges and universities have established such a scholarship, including Alabama State University, Mary Washington University, and SUNY Buffalo State College,” Leatherwood said in an email. 

The selection committee for the scholarship will include Tia Jameson, director of basketball operations; Eileen Theodore-Shusta, director of planning, assessment and organizational effectiveness at Alden Library; Nancy Edwards-Grady, senior assistant director for diversity with Undergraduate Admissions; Dr. Julie Suhr, professor and director of clinical training, Department of Psychology; Amiya Weaver, undergraduate student and Urban Scholar; Ian Carter III, undergraduate student and president of Student Senate; and Dr. Chris Fowler, associate director, critical and underserved student success at OMSAR. 

"As we collectively mourn the loss of Black lives and acknowledge the extensive injustices perpetrated against Black people and other people of color, we hope this scholarship will underscore Ohio University’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and support for our African American students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community,” Dr. Gigi Secuban, vice president for OU Diversity and Inclusion, said in an email. 


Clarification appended: A previous headline of this article made it seem like the scholarship was only awarded to Black students. The headline has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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