Student Development

Overview of The Race and Social Justice Initiative’s Summer Research Award:

In conjunction with the College of Charleston’s Center for Studying Slavery, African American Studies Department, and Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) will grant one (1)  deserving applicant a stipend for the summer academic semester (June 1, 2019–August 10, 2019). The Summer Research Award was created following the successful research of the recipients of the Student Leadership Awards. This award, ranging from $1,000–$2,000 is given once a year to student research focusing on one or more of the following areas: History, Social Justice, Socio-Economic Disparities, and Education Policy. Applicants are required to write a proposal, which will be reviewed by a review committee, detailing their unique research projects. At the conclusion of the research semester, the award recipient must present their work at a public program arranged by the Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Award Description and Qualifications:

  • Available to current College of Charleston Undergraduate Students.
  • Total amount awarded is $1,000–$2,000 (funding level determined by review committee).
  • Submissions Open: March 25, 2019 |12:00 PM
  • Submission Deadline: April 15, 2019|11:59 PM
  • Award Notifications: April 23, 2019
  • Please submit all proposals to calhoundl@cofc.edu no later than submission deadlines.

Proposal Description and Criteria:

    • Proposals should include the following components: a clear abstract of the project, a detailed description of the project and the field(s) you will be focusing on, and a final statement outlining how the project will advance and support your field(s) of choice.
  • All proposals should be at minimum one (1) page in length
  • All proposals must be submitted using PDF format.
  • Proposals should be sent to the following e-mail address: calhoundl@cofc.edu by April 15, 2019, at 11:59 pm.

For more information on the award, please contact Daron Lee Calhoun II at calhoundl@cofc.edu or 843.953.7612.

Overview of The Race and Social Justice Initiative’s Student Leadership Award:

As part of our commitment to student development, The Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) grants the Student Leadership Award to six deserving applicants every academic semester. The Student Leadership Award was created as a means to foster systemic change across The College of Charleston campus and greater Lowcountry community.  The RSJI Student Leadership Award is a $600.00 travel and research stipend awarded to student leaders who recognize the importance of social justice activism and who are driven to become organizers of change. Applicants are required to write a proposal, which will be reviewed by the RSJI team, detailing their unique travel and research projects. At the conclusion of the funding semester, each award recipient will present their findings at the Student Leadership Award Symposium.


Click here to view profiles of our 2018-2019 winners!


Award Description and Qualifications:

  • Available to current College of Charleston Undergraduate and Graduate Students.
  • Total amount awarded is $600.00 per recipient.
  • Link to application.
  • Submissions Open: November 6, 2018 |12:00 PM
  • Submission Deadline: December 10, 2018|11:59 PM
  • Award Notifications: January 2, 2019
  • Disbursement of Funds: January 28, 2019

**Awardees are required to present on their work at the RSJI Student Leaders Award Symposium on April 23, 2019**

Proposal Description and Criteria:

    • Proposals should include the following components: a clear abstract of the project, a statement of need (how RSJI funds will be allocated if awarded the SLA), a detailed description of the project, and a final statement outlining how the project will advance and support the social activism climate on The College of Charleston campus or in the greater Lowcountry community.

For more information on the award, please contact Daron Lee Calhoun II at calhoundl@cofc.edu or 843.953.7612.

Past Winners:

David Rothmund (MA History)

Click here to view David’s proposal: David Rothmund Student Leadership Award Proposal.

The Southern Negro Youth Congress: Legacies of SNYC and the Southern Radical Tradition
This project will work in correlation with the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. The release of the State of Racial Disparities in Charleston County, South Carolina 2000-2015 has provided policymakers and community leaders with an opportunity to create insightful and impactful change along the lines of race and class in the South, particularly in South Carolina. This report highlights the disproportionate social and economic status of African Americans in Charleston County.
David’s research will provide a historical foundation for community leaders to understand and implement lasting change. Additionally, this study can serve as a roadmap for radical activist movements and will work with local militant groups to establish a historical narrative as a starting point for social and economic development. David’s work will encourage readers to use and understand the history of Southern radical activists and will urge the audience to continue fighting for racial and class-based equality. Ultimately, David hopes to partner with other Race and Social Justice Initiatives to provide a historical approach to dismantling racial disparities.

Cora Webb (Public Health, Women’s and Gender Studies)

Click here to view Cora’s proposal: Cora Webb Student Leadership Award Proposal.

Alternative Break: LGBTQ+ Rights and Public Health in New York City
Alternative Break is a program focused on empowering students to expand their horizons of self-awareness and social responsibility while working towards social justice through direct service. My specific program focused on LGBTQ+ Rights and Public Health issues in New York City. This program had a primary emphasis on addressing the issue of HIV/AIDs in the LGBTQ+ community. Over the course of Spring Break, I worked with the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center (GMHC).  I had the opportunity to support staff by serving meals to clients, assembling Safer Sex kits, and assisting with other special projects. In addition, I was educated on the ways the GMHC is working to develop comprehensive solutions to promote education, increase awareness, improve care, reduce stigma, elevate policy, and build strong, supportive communities to end the HIV/AIDS crisis. The newfound knowledge of HIV/AIDS treatment and activism in NYC will be used to better address the issue within the Charleston community.