Local NAACP Establishes Scholarship to Advance Equality Through Education
Fund named in honor of Bristol trailblazer
The Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP has been around since the 1960s. While the local branch had been working to ensure that political, educational, social and economic equality was achieved for all individuals in the local community, it was given a new energy and formally reorganized in 1985. That effort was spearheaded by many community members and pastors, including Reverend Dr. Eddie C. Whitehead. To honor his legacy and to continue their mission of advancing educational opportunities, the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP established the Reverend Dr. Eddie C. Whitehead of Bristol CT – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund at Main Street Community Foundation.
An annual scholarship will be available to graduating high school seniors in Bristol, Burlington, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth and Southington who are pursuing higher education at a college, university or vocational/technical institution. The local NAACP has awarded scholarships in the past, last awarding a $500 one in 2018.
“Partnering with Main Street Community Foundation allows this scholarship to now be permanent,” said Eric Clemons, President of the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP. “This fund was created so the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP could create a legacy for the communities we serve. At the same time, we remember the efforts of men and women like Dr. King and Pastor Whitehead, whose dreams to insure educational opportunities and equity will now live through this fund forever. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!”
The scholarship is named in memory of two trailblazers: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and Reverend Dr. Eddie C. Whitehead, a Bristol resident who was a community leader and a founding member of the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP.
“Pastor Whitehead, who would proudly tell you he was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, was always knocking on whatever doors he had to help push the envelope of opportunity and equality in our community. In his younger days, he had seen more than his share of opportunities denied in the Jim Crow South,” added Clemons. “Whomever he visited was guaranteed a good conversation, a push to take action, and some biblical advice to top it all off!"
The Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP will continue to build this scholarship fund as a legacy to these two individuals. “We invite the community to come together and donate, allowing the awards to grow and more students to be assisted,” stated Eric Clemons.
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the Reverend Dr. Eddie C. Whitehead of Bristol CT – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund may do so at any time by donating online or by sending donations to Main Street Community Foundation, P.O. Box 2702, Bristol, CT 06010.
The first Reverend Dr. Eddie C. Whitehead of Bristol CT – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship will be awarded in 2022 and applications will be accepted beginning January 15, 2022 through the Foundation’s website.