On the two-year anniversary of Ahmaud Arbery’s hate crime murder, his mother has announced a new scholarship program in his honor.
On Wednesday, Wanda Cooper-Jones announced the establishment of The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation in an effort to prevent any other family from feeling the pain she has felt since Arbery was shot and killed by three men on Feb. 23, 2020, AJC reports.
The scholarship comes days after Arbery’s killers, Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, were found guilty of federal hate crime charges for violating the then- 25-year-old’s civil rights when they cornered him with their pickup trucks before Travis McMichael fatally shot him with a shotgun.
Cooper-Jones spoke at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta to announce the scholarship that will award six students at Brunswick High School, where Arbery graduated in 2012, with $3,000 scholarships toward college. The recipients will be announced on May 8, on what would have been Arbery’s 28th birthday.
“I’m very excited to announce that the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation will provide higher education scholarship opportunities to the seniors of Brunswick High School, which is the high school where Ahmaud graduated from in the year 2012,” Cooper-Jones said, WJCL reports.
She stressed the importance of the scholarship helping to foster the growth of young Black men in their local community.
“We believe in helping to create opportunities for young Black men to further their education, to start a business, to simply build a life. Something Ahmaud did not have the chance to do,” Cooper-Jones said.
“Justice goes beyond judgment made in the courtroom. Justice ensures every child, no matter what their skin color, his socioeconomic situation, is safe and has equal opportunities to realize their dreams.”
Brunswick High School students and staff joined with neighbors to march on Wednesday in commemoration of the two years since Arbery was murdered.