On Monday, it was announced that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund launched a $40 million scholarship program thanks to a single anonymous donor’s generous gift.
The Associated Press reports that the scholarship fund plans to put 50 students through law school. In exchange for having their tuition paid for, the students must spend eight years doing racial justice work in Southern states, starting with a two-year-post-graduate fellowship in a civil rights organization, according to the publication.
“The donor came to us,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said. “The donor very much wanted to support the development of civil rights lawyers in the South. And we have a little bit of experience with that.”
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is February 16. The LDF announced the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program on Martin Luther King Day. The program is named after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and federal judge Constance Baker Motley.
The LDF was founded by Marshall in 1940 and funded the creation of Black and interracial law firms in multiple southern states in the ’60s and ’70s. Since then, it has worked to build a network of lawyers.