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The mother of Ahmaud Arbery has announced that six scholarships will be awarded to students at Georgia’s Brunswick High School, where Arbery graduated from in 2012.
“We believe in helping to create opportunities for young Black men to further their education, to start a business, to simply build a life. Something Ahmaud did not have the chance to do,” Wanda Cooper-Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Justice goes beyond judgment made in the courtroom. Justice ensures every child, no matter what their skin color, his socioeconomic situation, is safe and has equal opportunities to realize their dreams.”
Cooper-Jones started The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation to support young Black boys and give them the resources to access mental wellness.
The announcement of the scholarships came the day after the three men that murdered Ahmaud were convicted in federal court of hate crimes.
Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of interference of rights, which is a federal hate crime, and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also found guilty of an additional firearms charge for using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.
The three men are already serving life sentences in state prison after being found guilty in 2021 for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
Ahmaud Arbery Day
At the downtown Atlanta gathering, where the scholarships were announced, state Rep. Sandra G. Scott presented Cooper-Jones with a copy of the House resolution proclaiming February 23 to be Ahmaud Arbery Day.
“Today is a great day here in the state of Georgia,” Scott said. “And it’s a great day all over the world because the people will be out thanking God for this day, which is known for the rest of our lives… as Ahmaud Arbery Day.”
The recipients of the scholarships will be announced on May 8, which would have been Arbery’s 28th birthday.