Jason Wong '24

Jason Wong ’24 to join inaugural cohort of the John Robert Lewis Scholar & Fellows Program

by Kerry Steinhofer

Centre College News

Grissom Scholar Jason Wong ’24 (Brooklyn, New York City) has been accepted into the inaugural cohort of the John Robert Lewis Scholar & Fellows Program through The Faith & Politics Institute. This new opportunity for students is unique in its mission as well as the fact that there will be undergraduate scholars and graduate fellows studying and working collaboratively.

“It’s very exciting to have Jason in the inaugural cohort not only because of the meaningful and important study and work in which he and the other scholars and fellows will be engaged but also because he will help pioneer the program as one member of the inaugural cohort,” said Robert Schalkoff, director of the Office of Fellowships.

The program enables students to learn from changemakers of history, contemporary nonviolence practitioners and civil rights leaders. During two trips to Washington, D.C, participants will connect with representatives from national, state and local government, businesses and nonprofits engaged in social impact work. 

The Faith & Politics Institute works to bridge the divides that arise in the nation’s thriving democracy and create productive paths forward. Their work is grounded in the philosophy of civil rights leader and Board Chair Emeritus, the late Congressman John Lewis. Like Lewis, they believe that making lasting positive social change requires that “the means and ends are inseparable.”

This nationally competitive program is designed for participants to examine Lewis’ nonviolent philosophy from a historical perspective; define its principles and strategies; and identify their applicability to modern times and movements, current issues and everyday life. During the year-long program, beginning January 2022, scholars and fellows will forge a nationwide network of emerging leaders who will be inspired to create positive societal change from the revolutionary nonviolent perspective that was employed with success in the Civil Rights Movement.

“I applied for the John Robert Lewis Scholar & Fellows Program, because I knew that my dream was to make an impact wherever I go,” Wong said. “I hope through this program I will be able to further shape my understanding of what I can do to be a voice of change, but also connect with other young leaders and learn how diversity in opinions and backgrounds is what makes America’s democracy work.”

Wong will have the opportunity to learn from fellow cohort members from Barnard College, Dartmouth College, Fordham University and University of North Carolina, among others, as well as program leaders and guest speakers. He will participate in unique in-person and remote academic programming, including participation in the 2022 Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama. In addition, he will receive a generous stipend and complete an oral history project that will be presented in Washington, D.C. in July.