BFSA has been awarding financial gifts to students participating in the LACCD Black Graduation Celebration sponsored by the African American Outreach Initiative (AAOI) and the Chancellor’s Office for 7 years. This year BFSA will award 2 (two) students with a $300 scholarship.

To honor the research and work of Carter G. Woodson’s national organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH), the Black Faculty & Staff Association utilizes the Black History Month theme for the entire year, and when appropriate, develops a metaphoric adaptation.

This year marks two significant anniversaries impacting voting rights for African Americans. In 1870, 150 years ago, the 15th Amendment was ratified: “The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment securing women’s right to vote. With these momentous anniversaries in mind, the 2020 theme is “African Americans and the Vote,” exploring 150 years (and more) of the struggle to ensure that African Americans are able to fully participate in American democracy.

The theme of the vote also includes the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.

Write a 200-word essay on this theme. To read more about the theme, download and read the executive summary from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History at

Candidate Eligibility

Students Must:

  1. Have earned or be a candidate to earn a certificate or degree from an LACCD campus summer 2019, fall 2019, or spring 2020.
  2. Complete the online LACCD Black Graduation Celebration Registration by the due date.
  3. Participate in the LACCD Black Graduation Celebration (winners must be present to receive scholarship).
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 from home campus.

Essay Criteria

Essay Must:

  1. Adhere to the theme.
  2. Be solely the student’s original work. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  3. Interpret the theme Connect the theme with a current event or a personal experience.
  4. Include a minimum of at least 1 significant African American historical reference.
  5. Have a relevant and accurate statistic and its source.
  6. Contain at least 1 relevant quote from an influential African American figure.
  7. Reflect the student’s point of view.

Winners will be selected based on the above-referenced criteria as well as the quality of their narrative, originality
of the essay, and the proper use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Applications will be scored by the LACCD BFSA Student Scholarship Committee based on the above-referenced criteria.
  2. Applications must be received by Friday, May 8, 2020.
  3. Submissions that do not adhere to all of the essay criteria will not be eligible.
  4. For more information, contact Dr. Linda Cole at (213) 763-7109 or

Finalists will be notified no later than May 10, 2020.

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