James Weldon Johnson scholarship for students from underepresented groups

By Bright Silas

Scholarship snapshot

Amount: $1500

Scope: Partial scholarship

Target Country: United States

Target Audience: African-Americans

The James Weldon Johnson scholarship is one of the many opportunities available for Black students through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Inspire Initiatives.

In this article, which is part of a series highlighting the full scope of NAACP scholarships currently available, we take a deep dive into the background for the scholarship, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

What is the James Weldon Johnson scholarship?

Launched in 2020, The James Weldon Johnson scholarship is a prestigious award sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity in partnership with the NAACP. It honors Johnson’s legacy by recognizing students who share his commitment to excellence, integrity, and service.

This scholarship is open to students of all races and ethnicities, but it particularly seeks to support students from underrepresented groups. The NAACP Scholarship Committee ensures that at least one student from each of the seven (7) NAACP regions receives a scholarship, with each region having the opportunity to have more than one (1) recipient.

By providing equitable educational opportunities for students from these communities, this scholarship seeks to address persistent inequalities in the educational system and promote a more just and equal society.

Besides the financial support provided by the James Weldon Johnson scholarship, recipients also benefit from the prestige and recognition of being referred to as a James Weldon Johnson scholar. As a result, recipients may be able to take advantage of new opportunities like internships, research fellowships, and job offers, as well as develop a network of professional contacts and mentors. 

Scholarship amount

The James Weldon Johnson scholarship awards $1500 to 15 exceptional students, bringing the total award value to $22500 every year. This amount typically covers the cost of tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. 

Scholarship requirements

To be eligible for the James Weldon Johnson scholarship, a student has to meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a member of the NAACP organization. This article will address some information on how you can become a member.
  • Must be below the age of 25 at the time of application submission.
  • Must be a Black or African American.
  • Must be a U.S citizen. 
  • Must be enrolled full-time or accepted to an accredited college or university in the United States.
  • Must be a graduating high school senior or undergraduate student for applicable scholarships.
  • Must possess a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 system. 
  • Must exhibit an interest in pursuing a career in any field of study.
  • Must indicate financial need.
  • Students must also show leadership skills, community involvement, and a commitment to social justice.

How to apply to the james weldon johnson scholarship

As stated previously, you must be a member of the NAACP organization in order to be eligible to receive the James Weldon Johnson scholarship. 

NAACP membership comprises three sections namely: The Regular Annual membership, Lifetime membership, and Corporate membership. The NAACP encourages anyone who desires to join to choose a membership type that best fits them. 

If you are not already a member, you can join by visiting the organization’s website and completing an online application.

Application credentials

As a full-fledged member of the NAACP, you can now apply for the James Weldon Johnson scholarship.  You will need the following documents to apply:

  • Copy of your NAACP membership card or membership application. 
  • Official transcript. 
  • Two recommendation letters from teachers or professors in your major field of study
  • A one page essay
  • Your student aid report.
  • Personal statement outlining your academic and professional goals.
  • Evidence of acceptance or full-time enrollment in an accredited college or University.

Application process

If you are a qualified student, you need to apply online with all necessary credentials through the NAACP’s Inspire Initiatives scholarship portal. You can access that portal here.

A scholarship committee made up of NAACP leaders scores applications, reviews transcripts, and selects recipients for approval. If selected, you will receive a notification from the Inspire scholarship portal. The selection committee’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.

You can find additional information on the NAACP website. Good luck!

The James Weldon Johnson Scholarship is part of a series of scholarship opportunities available for Black students through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Find other opportunities in the series in the list below:

How to Get NAACP’s Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship Award 2023
‘All-American Homecoming’ Grand Slam Scholarship for HBCU Students
Dark & Lovely Presents: Building Beautiful Futures Scholarship for Young Black Female Students
Walmart’s Empowering a Better Tomorrow Scholarship for African American Students
NAACP’s Hubertus W. V. Willems Scholarship for Black Male Students
James Weldon Johnson Scholarship for Students From Underrepresented Groups
Katherine McIntyre Scholarship Awards for 25 African Americans
The NAACP Creative Sole Scholarship for African American Students in Creative Fields
The NAACP X Society Awards Scholarship for African American Students
NAACP’s Uplift Scholarship for African American Students
Write Her Future Scholarship for Young Black Female Undergraduates 2023

At Scholarship Monitor, we are committed to providing you with up-to-date information on scholarship opportunities. Make sure to always check back for more updates and take advantage of the resources we have provided to help you achieve your academic and career goals.

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