SALEM, Mo. – Last week we reported the story of Salem, Mo. native Jacob Wilson’s effort to counter the (now rescinded) Dent County Commission’s vote to fly government flags at half-staff each month in mourning of traditional marriage with a scholarship for area LGBT teens.
The Missouri Courage Scholarship announced today it has raised $12,000 in 12 days – 1K for each month the Missouri county voted to mourn traditional marriage – receiving donations from across the country and as far away as Brazil.
The donations and support will fund two annual Courage Scholarships that will acknowledge, affirm and reward the courage of a graduating senior from Salem High School, and a graduating senior from another part of Missouri (open to all graduating high school seniors in Missouri), who have demonstrated their willingness to work for change in their community to advance the lives of LGBT people and other groups who have historically faced discrimination.
According to organizers, all graduating seniors who have worked to advance the dignity and equality of the LGBT community, the lives of people of color, religious minorities, women, immigrants and people with disabilities will be considered.
“We believe the advancement and inclusion of any marginalized group is essential to the empowerment of all who have been marginalized,” said Wilson.
Wilson, who lives in Washington, D.C., is co-chair and co-administrator of the Missouri Courage Scholarship along with Geneviève Steidtmann, a long-time LGBT rights advocate from St. Louis, Mo.
“The Courage Scholarship, to me, is a great way to promote the importance of education while sending a message to the entire Salem community that discrimination and hate are not acceptable,” Wilson told #Boom Magazine.