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Mission Statement

The WEB Du Bois Scholars Institute is a leadership development organization for adolescents and secondary students from families and communities who have experienced historical barriers to achievement and opportunity. To help overcome these challenges, the Institute develops a diverse cadre of leaders and scholars who, through rigorous preparation and nurturance, excel in higher education and professionally. With an array of academic enriched content, career development resources and cultural awareness, the Institute aims to foster well rounded young minds and wisdom-loving change agents working to create a more just and human world.

Why name the Institute in honor of W.E.B. Du Bois?

W.E.B. Du Bois, a renowned sociologist, philosopher, historian, activist, scholar, author, and public intellectual, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1868. Throughout his life, Du Bois challenged barriers to equality and debated the course of freedom for African Americans. As co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, People (NAACP), Dr. Du Bois was committed to scholarship and the development of leaders among African Americans. He argued that the most effective leadership will come from the best trained minds. Therefore, African Americans must focus on and educate its “talented tenth” to maximize its potential for political, social and economic success. In keeping with Dr. Du Bois’ teachings, especially his idea of the “The Talented Tenth,” the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute was founded and named in his honor with an aim to recruit and groom high-achieving African American and Latino American youth who have demonstrated an ability to lead and achieve, both in and out of school settings. The Institute is designed to develop leaders with a sense of community purpose who will assume key roles in restoring impoverished communities. Surely, a central part of training in the Institute is instilling in participants a sense of duty to give back to help people in need.

About W.E.B. Du Bois

WEB Du Bois
Author, activist, sociologist, philosopher, poet and scholar
  • Born: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts,
  • Renowned author, activist, sociologist, philosopher, poet and scholar
  • Major Spokesperson for African American civil rights in the 20th century
  • As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles. 
  • Taught at Wilberforce University, the University of Pennsylvania and Atlanta University
  • 1888: Earned a Bachelor of Arts from Fisk University in Tennessee
  • 1895: First African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University
  • 1899: Authored The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, which devised the term, “Talented Tenth”
  • 1903: Authored The Souls of Black Folks: Essays & Sketches, a historical and sociological seminal work
  • 1909: Co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • 1932-1946: Served as Editor-in-Chief of "The Encyclopedia of the Negro"
  • 1935: Authored Black Reconstruction in America
  • 1961: Moved to Ghana at the request of President Kwame Nkrumah to work on the “Encyclopedia Africana.” Became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963
  • Died: August 27, 1963 in Ghana, at the age of 95, on the eve of the Civil Rights March on Washington

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