JACKSONVILLIE, FL – Edward Waters College (EWC) announced that it will establish the A. Philip Randolph Institute for Law, Race, Social Justice and Economic Policy in the coming months pursuant to a multi-year six figure grant from the Jesse Ball DuPoint Fund. The College plans to hire an executive director/scholar-in-residence and utilize grant funds to provide opportunities for students, scholars, practitioners and community members to examine and exchange ideas related to race, law/criminal justice, and socioeconomic policy matters through research, lectures, symposia and scholarship.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and potentially transformative development for our institution and the greater Jacksonville community,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., EWC president and CEO. “It is also a timely initiative for all of us given the recent events that have occurred throughout the country over the past year heightening our collective scrutiny of matters of race, law, and the engagement of African-American citizens with law enforcement as well as the ongoing plight for social and economic equity that has come even more to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Over the next three years, the main objective of the Randolph Institute is to create positive change through at least one new policy for law, race, social justice or economics adopted by the City of Jacksonville, law enforcement agency or department, or related organization and/or create positive change in at least one current and local statistic related to these matters. One of the primary long-term goals of the Randolph Institute is to increase public confidence and trust in jacksonville in the fairness of police interactions with community members and of prosecutorial charging decisions, normally made by district attorneys.

“The Randolph Institute represents a unique and powerful opportunity to advance our collective goals of making our community more open, equitable and inclusive,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund. “We are proud to honor the legacy of A. Philip Randolph by expanding opportunities for scholarship, open dialogue, and policy recommendations at a critical time for our community.”

Asa Philip Randolph was a groundbreaking leader, organizer, and social activist who championed equitable labor rights for African American communities throughout the 20th century. He attended Edward Waters College from ages 14 to 16 before transferring to Bethune-Cookman where he graduated. Randolph’s abilities as an organizer and trailblazer became the driving force in ending racial discrimination in government defense factories and desegregating the armed forces, both done through presidential decree. He was a principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Mr. Randolph Institute in Washington, D.C.

“I am confident that this bold decision by the Jesse Ball duPont Fund will inspire others to join us towards catalyzing additional support in achieving substantial and substantive outcomes to positively impact the lives of all our fellow citizens and particularly traditionally marginalized communities which is directly reflective of the spirit of A. Philip Randolph and his life’s work,” said Dr. Faison.

“We are grateful to the Fund for their continued partnership and support in enabling the launch this critical new institute and EWC looks forward to continuing our longstanding service as an essential resource, solution provider, and conduit for leading progressive and meaningful change in the greater Jacksonville community and beyond.”

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About Edward Waters College
Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and a member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal art education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principle of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the oldest private institution of higher education in the State of Florida. For more information, visit www.ewc.edu.

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