Student Development

Overview of The James E. Campbell Race and Social Justice Initiative Student Leadership Award:

Named to honor Mr. James E. Campbell, a longtime civil rights activist, global educator, and friend of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the James E. Campbell Race and Social Justice Initiative Student Leadership Award (SLA) provides financial support for student social justice activists across South Carolina. 

As part of our commitment to student development, the Student Leadership Award (SLA) is a $6,000.00 travel and research stipend divided amongst 10 student leaders who recognize the importance of social justice activism and are driven to become organizers of change. Inspired by the findings of the The State of Racial Disparities in Charleston County, South Carolina 2000–2015, a study conducted and published by RSJI, the SLA funds students who are actively seeking solutions for the pervasiveness of racial inequality and injustice within the Lowcountry, the South, and the nation.  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 James E. Campbell Race and Social Justice Initiative Student Leadership Award Symposium.

James E. Campbell (born 1925), an African American educator and civil rights activist, worked as a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, New York, New York, and Tanzania. He later became an administrator with the New York City public school system. Campbell also served as contributing editor for the journal Freedomways. Relocating after retirement, he became a community activist in Charleston, South Carolina and continued his involvement with educational initiatives. Throughout his life, Campbell has worked with organizations focused on socialism, Pan-Africanism, freedom struggles, and equity in education.

Mr. James E. Campbell

Award Description and Qualifications:

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who currently attend the College of Charleston, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Benedict College, Allen University, Voorhees College, or Morris College.

Total amount awarded is $600.00 per recipient.

Submissions Open: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | 12:00 PM

Submission Deadline: Friday, November 8, 2019 | 11:59 PM

Award Notifications: Friday, January 10, 2020

Disbursement of Funds: Tuesday, January 28, 2020




Awardees will be required to present their work at the RSJI Student Leaders Award Symposium on Tuesday, April 24, 2020.


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, in the greater Lowcountry community, or in the state of South Carolina. 

Proposals must make mention of The State of Racial Disparities in Charleston County, South Carolina 2000–2015 report conducted by the Race and Social Justice Initiative. 

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: by Friday, November 8, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

For examples of past proposals, see those linked under the “Past Winners” section of this webpage.

For more information about the award, please contact Daron Lee Calhoun, II at or (843) 953-7612. For questions or concerns regarding the application process, please contact Katherine Jones at

Past Winners:

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

MUSEUM TOURS: The Avery Research Center is currently open for guided tours by appointment and self-guided tours on selected days.

QUARTERLY OPEN HOUSE: The Avery Research Center currently offers self-guided tours each quarter (April, July, October, January) on Wednesdays. Advance registration requested.

ARCHIVES: Researchers must schedule a consultation BEFORE making a research appointment.