National Institute on Aging

Two African American Scholars Named Fletcher Fellows

The Fletcher Foundation has announced the 2012-13 class of Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellows. The fellowship program was founded in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. People selected as fellows pursue projects that contribute to improving racial equality in American society and further the broad social goals of the Brown decision.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University who chairs the selection committee for the fellowships, stated, “The new Fletcher Fellows carry on the conversation about race, social justice, and equal opportunity that has been started, and energized, by the 44 fellows preceding them. The Fletcher Fellowship Program continues to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work on race relations post-Brown in a way that no other program matches.”

This year, three Fletcher Fellows were named. Each will receive a stipend of $50,000. Two of the three new Fletcher fellows are African American academics.

Rucker Johnson is an associate professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the co-author of Mother’s Work and Children’s Lives: Low-Income Families After Welfare Reform.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. As a Fletcher Fellow he will conduct research on how school segregation impacts adult socioeconomic and health.

Trey Ellis is an assistant professor in the School of the arts at Columbia University. Ellis is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. He is the author of Right Here, Right Now, which won the American Book Award in 2000. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his television production Tuskegee Airmen.

Ellis, who is a graduate of Stanford University, will use the funds from the Fletcher Fellowship to continue his work on “Affirmative,” a play about a daughter of an African-American scholars who refuses to check off her race on college applications.


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