In May, our SOH scholars completed a second “Thinking Lives Matter” lecture series, an eight-week course on civics, politics and self-empowerment through a community partnership between the Mervyn M Dymally Institute at California State University Dominquez Hills (CSUDH). All lecture series activities are on the CSUDH campus and offers young people, ages 18-25, advanced knowledge of higher education options and lessons in civic engagement and electoral power to strengthen their voice. Upon completion, SOH scholars receive a $2,500 fellowship stipend.

The cohort of 16 had great things to say about the program, such as feeling empowered to combat anti-blackness, influence systems through activism and organizing, and connect with power brokers as mentors. The cohort also had an opportunity to meet with CSUDH President Thomas Parham and other faculty leadership on campus.

Since the most recent lecture series, four scholars have made trips to Washington, D.C. to advocate for issues around higher education, another has been engaged in youth environmental justice organizing nationally and won an award at the California Youth Empowerment Summit, and three others visited the state capital to inform on issues impacting young people in a housing or economic crisis.

The next Thinking Lives” cohort in Fall 2023.

Leroy Hamilton, Photoham