A new student scholarship in conjunction with The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaiʻi is offering an opportunity for two local students with an innovative project proposal aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people to receive a financial fund of $3,900. The Tom Humphreys and Allan Wang Civil Rights Fund are looking for students who wish to support and advocate LGBTQ+ civil rights and civil liberties. The award is open to any undergraduate and graduate student.
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is November 20, with a committee of judges courtesy of the ACLU Hawai‘i. An announcement of awardees will be made after December 2019.
The criteria for the two local students to receive the $3,900 is the following: one in high school aged 16 to 18 and another in college or graduate school aged 19 to 24. The students must have a proposed project idea that can be categorized in: advocacy, arts, education/journalism and technology.
According to the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Dr. Humphreys left a legacy at the University of Hawa‘i at Mānoa as the first and only molecular biologist in the university at time. In addition, his husband, Dr. Allan Wang shared that “In 1971, he became the only openly gay faculty member at UH Mānoa.”
As society was learning about LGBTQ+ people; Dr. Humphreys continued his contributions to the UH science department.
Years later, he and his husband, Dr. Wang became steadfast Hawai‘i activists in the 1980s and 1990s advocating in LGBTQ+ issues including marriage equality which became legal in 2013, a year before Dr. Humphrey’s death. The couple also hosted potlucks in their Mānoa home near campus on weekends for students to meet other gay people and socialize in a safe environment.
Dr. Wang added his vision for the scholarship recipients: “We’re looking for students who can show work, volunteer or educational experience in the past exhibiting a dedication to civil rights and their community. We’re looking for innovative, creative students who need a little help getting their project off the ground. We chose two age groups to cover high school students and college-aged students.”
As for the future of the scholarship, Dr. Wang confidently replies “The focus of the scholarship is on the young future generation. But this is the first time we’re offering such a scholarship, so the possibilities are endless!“