Dawn Wilson Scholarship 2016-17 Winners Announced
Three University of Louisville students were recently named the inaugural winners of the Dawn Wilson Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students of Color, a newly-created effort initiated by alumnus Joey Feldman and coordinated by the university's LGBT Center.
Ariana Perry, Alexandra Roth, and James Alcantara were recognized by the selections committee for their commitment to community engagement, academic success, and social justice for LGBTQ+ communities of color.
The award's namesake, Dawn Wilson, has been a social justice activist for 20 years in transgender civil rights and the intersection between transgender identity and other human rights issues. She organized the first Transgender Lobby Days events in 1995, helping train transgender people to lobby Congress, and was the first chair of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. Dawn has held leadership roles with the Louisville Fairness Campaign, the Council for Fairness and Individual Rights (C-FAIR), and the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission where she is currently serving as Education Chair.
About this year's recipients:
Ariana Perry is a Porter Scholar and is active in the group Shades, where she advocates for LGBTQ+ students of color. She anticipates that receiving this scholarship will create new opportunities to explore her career path. "I'm hoping this upcoming year will bring more opportunities and insight for developing my career and identity."
Alexandra Roth is studying criminal justice and hopes to work as a parole and probation officer after graduating, focusing her attention on transgender inmates and working to alleviate the added discrimination they experience in the prison system. Being at U of L has been challenging and she has used the experience to grow stronger. "Learning about new things and new people is one of my favorite things to do and expanding my brain is something that i have done quite often while enrolled here."
James Alcantara is pursuing a degree in engineering and has been active in Shades, Fat Positive Louisville, the Latin American/Hispanic Student Organization, and Speed Spectrum for LGBT engineering students. He has also served as an ambassador for the LGBT Center.
To make a contribution to the Dawn Wilson Scholarship, visit us online here.