Claflin University senior Lauren Tolbert named a White House HBCU Scholar – Tolbert also named John Robert Lewis Scholar

Senior Lauren Tolbert has been named a 2022 HBCU Scholar by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tolbert is an African and African American Studies major. She is among 86 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more.

The scholars are currently enrolled at 56 of the nation’s HBCUs. They were selected from a competitive pool of over 350 students. Applications also required the signature of their HBCU president or designated HBCU faculty, adding a level of prestige to this application process.


“The HBCU Scholars have dedicated themselves to learning and exemplify the talent that our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting these leaders and I cannot wait to learn from them while they serve as ambassadors for the White House Initiative and their institutions.”


Sponsored by the Faith & Politics Institute, the goal of the John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program is to build a network of young leaders who are inspired by the moral leadership of John Lewis, educated, and empowered to use King’s principles and strategies of nonviolence, and committed to applying these competencies to become changemakers in their local communities. The program enables students to learn from changemakers of history, contemporary nonviolence practitioners, and civil rights leaders.

As a scholar, Tolbert will participate in two trips to Washington, D.C., in July 2022 and July 2023. She and other scholars and fellows will connect with representatives from national, state, and local governments, as well as businesses and nonprofits engaged in social impact work. They will also join members of Congress and other national leaders on Faith & Politics’ annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage in March 2023 and complete an oral history report.

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