Bayard Rustin Best Graduate Student LGBT Paper Award

Chair: Dr. Ravi Perry,

This award is named in honor of Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), who was active in the struggle for human rights and economic justice for over 50 years. Born in 1912, he was reared in West Chester, PA where he excelled as a student, athlete and musician. He attended Wilberforce University, Cheyney State College, the City College of New York, and the London School of Economics, earning tuition at odd jobs and singing professionally with Josh White’s Carolinians and Leadbelly. Time and space do not permit a full and detailed account of Rustin’s illustrious career, but he is best known for his active involvement for the struggle for human rights and economic justice association via his association with the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Philip Randolph’s March on Washington Movement (1940s), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott, the organization of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957, The National Youth Marches for Integrated Schools in 1958 and 1959, and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which, at that time, was the largest demonstration in the nation’s history. Rustin helped found the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Black Americans to Support Israel Committee (BASIC). Openly gay, he advocated on behalf of LGBT causes in the latter part of his career.

Entries must be received no later than February 1, 2024.