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IUPUI launches scholarship for descendants of Indiana Ave, Ransom Place neighborhood

University now taking scholarship applications
Posted at 11:22 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 14:48:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS — While Black History Month is only 28 days long, IUPUI is doing something that will honor Black history 365 days of the year.

"During summer 2020 a large constituent group of IUPUI administrators and student leaders pulled together some various anti-racist initiatives and one of the suggestions that came from that was the Through Their Eyes Memorial Scholarship," Khalilah Shabazz said.

The scholarship provides $15,000 to an incoming or current IUPUI student whose family was displaced during the establishment and construction of the IUPUI campus.

"IUPUI began in 1969 and began to occupy the land that was home to thriving Black community and bought out many of the homes and we know long before that we have native communities who have also occupied that land," Shabazz said.

The communities of Ransom Place and Indiana Avenue were the headquarters for Black culture, Black existence in Indiana, and home to nationally known Hoosiers including Madam CJ Walker.

"This scholarship is a way to honor those individuals, their ancestors and their descendants," Shabazz said.

The Through Their Eyes Memorial Scholarship is part of an inclusion plan first initiated in 2006 by IUPUI's Black Student Union. Khalilah Shabazz is the assistant vice chancellor for student diversity, equity, and inclusion. She said the call to give something back to a community that lost so much continues to echo more than 50 years after the first home was knocked down.

"I think it's a great way to bring forth our past to our present, you know reconciling, in some way, the things we have done in the past in terms of our community and so really reestablishing ourselves as supporters of the Black and indigenous community that thrived in our areas," Shabazz said.

The Through Their Eyes Memorial Scholarship is open to Black and indigenous people who have ties to the land around Indiana Avenue. Applicants will be required to submit an essay detailing their family's connection to the area and preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate or provide evidence.

You can find the application online.