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The North Shore branch of the NAACP has announced the Avis Peters Scholarship, a $2,500 award for a student from the African Diaspora or other minority group who demonstrates academic promise and a passion for eradicating race-based discrimination. The scholarship is open to current high school seniors currently based in, or originally from, the North Shore, pursuing a four-year degree in any field.

“NAACP North Shore Branch is committed to investing in young people, and we believe that every act of community activism — even a small one — helps turn the world into a better place,” says branch president Kenann McKenzie-DeFranza. “We hope that our new scholarship will not only encourage students to become civil rights advocates, but also inspire them to take pride in their area of focus and take a leadership position within it.”

To be considered, students must fill out an application form and write brief essays explaining their academic and extracurricular strengths and goals, and outlining how they uphold the ideals of the NAACP. Applications are due May 15, 2023 and the winner will be announced May 31, 2023.

The Avis Peters scholarship was established this year in honor of Peters who was a supporter of the NAACP. The scholarship will be offered for three consecutive years: 2023, 2024, and 2025.

The North Shore branch was founded in 2020 by local residents galvanized by the killing of George Floyd. In its first three years, it has grown significantly and become a growing voice advocating for racial equity on the North Shore and beyond.

The national NAACP was founded in 1909, as a reaction to anti-black riots that had torn through the city of Springfield, Illinois, the previous year. In the years since, the organization has been at the forefront of major civil rights victories, including the desegregation of schools, bans on discrimination in federal employment and the armed forces, and defending voting rights.