Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice Program


Aluminum Jayhawk Cutout on side of Edwards Campus Building

The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice Program supports BSW, MSW, and PhD students in the KU School of Social Welfare who have historically and contemporarily experienced marginalization and oppression. Through financial support, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities, the Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program aims to enhance community, retention, and success for program scholars. BSW scholars are admitted into the program for the entirety of their BSW program as long as they remain in good standing; MSW scholars are admitted for one academic year.

 The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program provides three programs for BSW, MSW, and PhD students in the KU School of Social Welfare. 

  1. BSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($3,000) 

  2. MSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($6,000) 

  3. PhD Students: Toni Johnson Dissertation Award ($3,000) 

 

 

Toni Johnson Scholars are BSW students in the School of Social Welfare who have experienced historical and contemporary marginalization and oppression. Scholars receive an annual scholarship, mentoring, and professional development opportunities. 

Eligibility:

  • BSW student in the KU School of Social Welfare during the 2022-2023 academic year

  • Full-time and part-time students are eligible from any campus/site

  • Identifies with at least one of the following groups (students of color and students within two or more groups will be prioritized):

    • Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Asian/Asian-American, and/or multiracial
    • First generation college student (first in family to attend college)
    • High financial need (federal Pell grant-eligible or other areas of financial need)
    • LGBTQIA+, two-spirit, or not heterosexual or not cisgender
    • Disabled, student with a disability, or with chronic health concerns

Program Details:

  • A minimum of two BSW students per program level (first year, sophomore, etc.) will be admitted to the program and can remain in the program until BSW graduation without needing to re-apply, as contingent upon meeting program requirements and funding.

Program requirements:

  • Engage in monthly 1:1 faculty mentoring with Director
  • Engage in monthly peer group/MSW student mentoring
  • Maintain good academic standing to the extent that student can remain enrolled in the BSW program 
  • Engage with academic support as needed 
  • Participate in at least one personalized professional development opportunity annually 
  • Note: program requirements include flexibility in terms of virtual/phone/in-person meetings and in other ways 

Benefits for Scholars:

  • Faculty, peer, and MSW student mentoring
  • Annual $3,000 scholarship ($1,500 per semester) 
  • Personalized professional development opportunities 
  • Affiliation with the Toni Johnson Center for Racial & Social Justice 

How to Apply:

  • Application includes an online form with demographic and program questions, as well as an essay addressing the following in 500 words or less

    • What does it mean to you to be a Toni Johnson Scholar for Racial & Social Justice? 
    • What do you hope to gain, personally or professionally, by being a Toni Johnson Scholar? 
    • What strengths do you bring to the program?
  • Application deadline June 17, 2022
  • Notice of awards July 2, 2022
  • Required online application  

Toni Johnson Scholars are MSW students in the School of Social Welfare who have experienced historical and contemporary marginalization and oppression. Scholars receive an annual scholarship, mentoring, and professional development opportunities. 

Eligibility:

  • MSW in the KU School of Social Welfare during the 2022-2023 academic year

  • Full-time and part-time students are eligible from any campus/site

  • Identifies with at least one of the following groups (student of color and students within two or more groups will be prioritized):

    • Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Asian/Asian-American, and/or multiracial
    • First generation college student (first in family to attend college)
    • High financial need (federal Pell grant-eligible or other areas of financial need) 
    • LGBTQIA+, two-spirit, or not heterosexual or not cisgender 
    • Disabled, student with a disability, or with chronic health concerns 

Program Details:

  • Two MSW students will be admitted to the program for one academic year; one within each focus area described below.

  • Students should select which focus area they are applying for at the time of application and ensure their application materials address that area (see below).

  • Each Scholar will engage in research on their focus area and present it to the SSW community in Spring 2023. Research is broadly defined and can include a formal research study with faculty or research staff, a critical literature review, engagement with a community or organization working on that focus area, creative scholarship, etc.

  • Each Scholar will be designated a research mentor in addition to their mentorship with the TJS Director. 

Focus Areas:

  1. Racial Justice Scholar

    • The Scholar will identify an area of racial justice relevant to the field of social work that they plan to focus on for the academic year. This focus area is intentionally open-ended to allow students to identify the area in which they want to learn, grow, and share with the SSW community

  2. Racial/Social Justice & Substance Use Scholar
    • The Scholar will identify a topic or issue related to substance use that also intersects with relevant areas of racial and social justice. While this focus area is focused on substance use, students are encouraged to consider intersections with racial and social justice in a way that facilitates their own growth and critically engages with the field. 

Program requirements:

  • Monthly 1:1: mentoring with Director
  • Monthly group mentoring with BSW Scholars 
  • Present on focus area for the SSW community in Spring 2023; presentation should coincide within the focus area for the Scholar
  • Participate in at least one personalized professional development opportunity 
  • Maintain good academic standing to the extent that student can remain enrolled in the MSW program 
  • Note: program requirements include flexibility in terms of virtual/phone/in-person meetings and in other ways 

Benefits for Scholars:

  • 1:1 faculty mentoring 
  • $6,000 scholarship ($3,000 per semester) 
  • Leadership/Mentoring Skill Development 
  • Professional development opportunities 
  • Affiliation with the Toni Johnson Center for Racial & Social Justice 

How to Apply:

  • Application includes an online form with demographic and program questions, as well as an essay addressing the following in 750 words or less: 
    • What does it mean to you to be a Toni Johnson Scholar for Racial & Social Justice? 
    • What strengths do you bring to mentoring BSW students within a racial and social justice lens? 
    • What do you hope to gain, personally or professionally, by being a Toni Johnson Scholar? 
    • Discuss the research you are interested in doing related to your chosen focus area. You do not need to have it all figured out - but share what interests you within that specific focus area.
  • Application deadline June 17, 2022
  • Notice of awards July 15, 2022
  • Required online application  

 

The Toni Johnson Racial Justice Dissertation Award provides financial support for one or more PhD students engaged in dissertation research pertaining to racial justice. 

Eligibility:

  • Enrolled as a PhD student in the KUSSW during the 2022-2023 academic year
  • Will be conducting pre-dissertation or dissertation research between August 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023
  • Dissertation has or will have a racial and social justice focus 
  • Commitment to attending one meeting of the Toni Johnson Scholars to share your research interests and providing mentoring around graduate school (1 hour commitment)

Program Details:

  • One or more PhD students will be awarded up to $3,000 for one academic year 

  • Funds should be used to pay for research activities, defined broadly (software, participant incentives, access to secondary data, transcription, travel funds, etc.) 

  • Funds can be used for pilot data prior to dissertation proposal; however, priority will be given to students who propose to use awarded funds for dissertation research

Awardee Benefits:

  • Financial support for dissertation research 
  • Award for CV/resume 
  • Affiliation with the Toni Johnson Center for Racial & Social Justice 

How to Apply:

  • Email Dr. Paceley: mpaceley@ku.edu

  • Include the following information in the body of your email:
    • Name
    • Tentative dissertation title
    • Date of proposal defense or anticipated defense (for pre-dissertation, provide an estimated semester of proposal defense)
  • Attach a 500-word essay on:
    • Dissertation topic and connection to racial justice
    • How the award will help you carry out the research
    • A brief description of how you intend to use the funding

Application deadline: June 17, 2022

Notice of award: July 15, 2022

2021-22 Toni Johnson Scholar Recipients

Supporting students who have historically and contemporarily experienced marginalization and oppression. Through financial support, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities, the Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program aims to enhance community, retention, and success for program scholars.

Venus Gutierrez (Senior)

Marc Veloz (Senior)

Jordan Hardmann (Senior)

Annaliese Rosales-Ortiz (Junior)

Laura Ann Gutierrez (Junior)

Alexis Whitson (Sophomore)

Payton Smith (Sophomore)

Wilasia Padilla (first year)

Athena Horton (Edwards)

Natasha Santiago-Mason (Lawrence)

Linda Banda - Examining the Collaborative Role of Stakeholders on Ending Child Marriage in Malawi: A Qualitative Study on the Multi-sectoral Implementation Approach

Mijin Jeong - Psychological Adjustment to Early Stage Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias among Older Adults of Color

Scholar Highlights

Jordan Hardmann

I’m super honored and excited to be apart of this scholarship this semester. I’m excited to build relationships and bonds with more people and gain more knowledge and overall take my experience with me in the years to come.

Jordan Hardmann

Marc Veloz

I’m excited about the structure of the program and how it encourages relationality, connection and interconnectedness among students and faculty. I’m looking forward to the wisdom, knowledge, and tools that will be shared in this space and will allow us to make the most impact in our careers+education post-grad.

Marc Veloz

Payton Smith

I’m excited to be able to share my passion about various issues with people and be able to express how I want to help.

Payton Smith

Athena Horton

I am extremely grateful to be a part of the Toni Johnson Scholarship program the '21-'22 school year! I'm looking forward to the opportunities it will provide for both individual and professional growth, the connections I will build with my scholarship cohort, and having a platform to focus on work related to intersections of racial justice.

Athena Horton

Natasha Santiago-Mason

One does not sell the land people walk on. Crazy Horse. September 23, 1875.

This quote sums up for me the dysfunction of White Supremacy and motivates me to utilize my passion for racial and social justice to deconstruct it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do this work within the KU community and beyond.

Jayhawk sign on Reginier Hall at the Edwards Campus



DEI Scholars Program Coordinator