In the midst of the darkness that consumes 2020, ten Black students have ushered in a hint of light. Today, ten Black students in the United States were selected to be continue their students at Oxford University as Rhodes Scholars. Today's mark of ten Black scholars ties the previous record for Black scholars in the U.S. set back in 2017. Elliot F. Gerson of the Rhodes Trust said that this year's class of Rhodes Scholars is one of the most diverse in history.
“This year’s American Rhodes Scholars—independently elected by 16 committees around the country meeting simultaneously—reflect the remarkable diversity that characterizes and strengthens the United States. Twenty-two of the 32 are students of color; ten are Black, equal to the greatest number ever elected in one year in the United States. Nine are first-generation Americans or immigrants; and one is a Dreamer with active DACA status," Gerson said.
"Seventeen of the winners are women, 14 are men, and one is non-binary. These young Americans will go to Oxford next October to study in fields broadly across the social, biological and physical sciences, the humanities, and public policy. They are leaders already, and we are confident that their contributions to public welfare globally will expand exponentially over the course of their careers.”
Within the group of ten Black scholars selected in the United States, they are making history in their own communities. For example, Phaidra Buchanan is the first Black student at the University of Georgia to earn this honor.
“Phaidra has amassed an impressive record of academic achievement, engagement and leadership already as a UGA student, and we look forward to the positive impact she will continue to make on the world as she pursues her education and career path," University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead said.
Buchanan plans to study comparative and international education as a Rhodes Scholar. All students selected for the program will continue their education at Oxford University next year.
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