Faculty and Student Development

The Race and Social Justice Initiative Student Leadership Award is granted every academic semester as part of our commitment to faculty and student development. This award was created to produce and support a College community that is empowered to foster systemic social change. The RSJI Student Leadership Award is a $600.00 travel and research stipend given to up to five student leaders who recognize the need for campus and community social justice activism and want to enhance their capacities as organizers. Applicants are required to write a proposal to the RSJI team describing their travel and research projects and how it can correlate to the College of Charleston and Lowcountry Community. At the end of the funding semester, each award recipient will present at a Student Leadership Award Symposium on their topic and how they will forward the mission of the Race and Social Justice Initiative.


Award Description and Qualifications

  • Race and Social Justice Initiative Student Leadership Award
  • $600.00
  • Available to current College of Charleston Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • Proposal Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. the Wednesday, of the fifth week of the semester.
  • Awardees are required to present on their work at the RSJI Student Leaders Award Symposium at the end of each semester.


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


**Please note the Spring 2018 award deadline has been extended due to inclement weather. Contact Daron Lee Calhoun II if you plan to submit a proposal**


Past Winners

David Rothmund (MA History)

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 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)

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, putting together Safer Sex kits, and assisting with other special projects. In addition, I was educated on the ways that the GMHC is working to develop comprehensive solutions that 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.