Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South. Hurston broke literary norms by focusing her work on the experience of a black woman. Hurston was not only a writer, she also dedicated her life to educating others about the arts.
In Chapter XV of Dust Tracks on a Road, entitled "Religion", Hurston expressed disbelief in and disdain for both theism and religious belief. She states: "Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws."
Applications are now open for scholarships for Black students who are passionate about state/church separation and intersectional activism. The scholarships are available to full-time students enrolled in high school or college in the United States. The application deadline is July 31, 2023.
"Truth is a letter from courage!"
"There is two things everybody got to find out for theirselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living."
"Gods always behave like the people who created them."
Before you start on the application below you may wish to take some time and write out answers to the following questions which will appear in part three of the application.
- What are your educational, career, and life goals?
- What is your secular identity? How did you come to your secularism and how do you see it remaining a part of your life?
- What other aspects of your identity intersect, interact with, or inform your secularism?
- What intersectional/secular activism have you been involved with (on campus or off)?
- What activism plans do you have for this academic year?
- What obstacles, barriers, or financial hardships have you faced in pursuing your academic goals? What role would this scholarship have in helping you overcome these challenges?
As part of the application process, please prepare a 30-60 second video in which you tell us a little bit more about one aspect of your application: about your secular identity, or why it is important to you, or why you are passionate about state/church separation or your activism, or highlighting something important to you.
Privacy Information: We do not collect information from website visitors. The information provided in the scholarship application is not shared with third parties. The selection process is blind and does not include contact information. Sponsoring organizations receive scholarship applications to review and select the recipient of their scholarship/s, and contact information after the scholarship process has closed. All recipients review and approve the text and description used to announce the scholarship recipients.
If you would not like to receive further communication, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be removed from our database.
In addition to scholarships that apply to all high school and college students nationwide, there are also unique and state-specific scholarships, including:
Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship - awarded jointly by Black Nonbelievers
Dr. Hector Avalos Scholarship - awarded jointly by Hispanic American Freethinkers
Cliff Richards Memorial/FFRF Scholarships for students attending an HBCU
Yip Harburg Lyric Foundation/FFRF Scholarship for a student in the Arts or arts-related degree
Phoenix Fund/FFRF Scholarship for students seeking an education or teaching degree
Al Luneman/FFRF Student Activist Award for a student who is outspoken on state/church separation
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (militaryatheists.org) sponsors a scholarship for a student who is active duty military or a veteran
The Society for Humanistic Judaism sponsors a scholarship for a Jewish student
If you are enrolled in school in one of the following states, you may be eligible for these scholarships:
- The Florida Humanist Association sponsors three scholarships for students enrolled in college in the state of Florida.
- The Humanists of Sarasota Bay sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in Sarasota County or nearby counties.
- The Humanists of North Central Florida sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the North Central Florida region.
- The Atheist Community of Polk County sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in Polk County or nearby counties.
- The Central Florida Freethought Community sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in high school or college in the state of Florida.
- The Rationalists of East Tennessee sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the state of Tennessee student (family members of board members are ineligible for the scholarship).
- Oklahoma Atheists sponsors one scholarship to a student enrolled in college in the state of Oklahoma.
- Houston Oasis sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the state of Texas.
- Freethinkers Association of Central Texas in San Antonio sponsors one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the state of Texas.
- Jefferson Humanists, a chapter of the American Humanist Association, sponsors one scholarship for a student in the state of Colorado.
- FFRF Metro Denver Chapter sponsors one scholarship for a student in the state of Colorado.
- The Freethought Society sponsors one scholarship for a student in the state of Pennsylvania.
- HumanistsMN sponsors the Paul Heffron Scholarship for a student in the state of Minnesota.
- The Rationalist Society Of Saint Louis sponsors one scholarship for a student in the state of Missouri.
- The Humanist Association of Orange County, Humanist Society of Santa Barbara, and Atheists United sponsor one scholarship for a student enrolled in college in Southern California.
- The Secular Student Alliance sponsors a scholarship for students enrolled in middle or high school in the state of California.
The American Atheist scholarship
American Atheists celebrates student activism by awarding scholarships to students who demonstrate atheist activism in their communities and schools. The application period opens in December of each year with applications due by mid-February. Check back for a link to the application.
Black Skeptics of Los Angeles First in the Family Humanist Scholarship
Freedom From Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award
Four $2,500 scholarships are awarded to high school youth to assist with their tuition, room and board, books, and other academic resources. This award is available to high school youth who live in the U.S. who identify as atheist, agnostic, humanist and/or secular, and are accepted into two or four-year colleges. Preference is given to students of color (Black/African American, Latino(a), Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American). Students who are (or have been) in foster care, homeless, undocumented and/or LGBTQ are encouraged to apply.
Check back for the 2021 scholarship application.