The Carl Burton Stokes Scholarship was established by the family to celebrate his life and memory. The fund provides awards annually to High School Seniors in the Greater Cleveland area. The award recipients should exhibit the following characteristics of Stokes’ life: outstanding courage; faith; community service; a love of life learning; and a zest for life.

Scholarship applications should be submitted to the Carl B. Stokes Scholarship Committee by the deadline indicated on the application.

The application should include; an essay of 300-500 words, relating the applicant’s background, educational plans and how the applicant exhibits the personal characteristics cited above; school transcripts; and two recommendations; one from a school official and/or a second from another individual such as clergy, medical professional, employer, etc.

Scholarship recipients will be presented with awards at the Cleveland Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, held annually in June.

Scholarship awards will be in the amount of $1,000.00 per recipient.

Academic achievement – 2.5 grade point average and above.

Click HERE to download application.

CARL B. STOKES – BIOGRAPHY Carl Stokes was born on June 21, 1927. He was an African-American lawyer, and political leader. Carl Burton Stokes was only two years old when his father, a laundry worker, died. His widowed mother supported him and his older brother Louis by working as a domestic. At one time the family was on welfare. He helped support his family by working as a newspaper carrier and in neighborhood stores. He dropped out of high school and went to work in a foundry. At 18, he entered the Army; he received an honorable discharge as corporal and returned to school. Stokes got his high school diploma in 1947.

After graduating, he supported himself by working as a dining car waiter. He earned a B.S. degree in law at the University of Minnesota in 1954. Two years later, he received his L.L.B. degree from night law school in 1956 as a graduate of the Cleveland Marshall School of Law. In 1962, he became the first African-American democrat to be elected to the Ohio Legislature as a Democratic member of the Ohio general assembly until 1967. During that time, (1965) he narrowly lost a race for mayor of Cleveland.

In 1967, he ran again and became the first African American to be elected mayor of a major American city. Stokes’ election was a turning point for African American politicians, many of whom thought that a glass ceiling restricted them from attaining high political office in American. He was reelected in 1969, but after his second term he left politics to become a news broadcaster in New York City. He returned to Cleveland in 1980 as general counsel to the United Auto Workers. Three years later, Stokes was elected municipal court judge, serving two terms as head of the court. He then served (1994–95) as ambassador to the Seychelles. Carl Stokes died in 1996.

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