Senator James Abourezk Public Affairs Scholarship

About The Scholarship

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is proud to announce the establishment of the Senator James Abourezk Founders Scholarship, an important initiative aimed at fostering the educational pursuits of promising Arab American students. Senator Abourezk was a voice for justice and equity, incredibly influential in advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples in the United States. This scholarship will help support students, inspired by his example, who concentrate their studies on public affairs. 

In honoring Senator James Abourezk, the founder of the ADC and a visionary leader, we are reminded of his unwavering commitment to justice, civil rights, and public service. His remarkable legacy continues to inspire and guide us, symbolizing the immense potential and influence an individual can have on shaping a more inclusive society.

Created in tribute to Senator Abourezk's invaluable contributions and extraordinary vision that led to the formation of the ADC, this annual scholarship seeks to empower the next generation of leaders in the areas of political science and public policy. The scholarship will be awarded to an Arab American student — either at the graduate or undergraduate level — who demonstrates a deep commitment to these fields of study.

In the spirit of Senator Abourezk's enduring focus on civil rights and U.S. policy, we particularly encourage students studying in these areas to apply.

ADC firmly believes in education as a vital instrument for growth and advancement. By introducing the Senator James Abourezk Founders Scholarship, we are delighted to further our dedication to the Arab American community, and supporting our future leaders as they embark on their academic and professional journeys.

This scholarship presents a great opportunity for Arab American students to channel their education and passion into making substantial contributions to society. We warmly invite you to be a part of this inspiring journey by applying for the Senator James Abourezk Founders Scholarship.

Scholarship Amount: TBD

About Senator James Abourezk

James George Abourezk was born in South Dakota in 1931, the son of Lebanese Arab immigrants. Between 1948 and 1952, James served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. Subsequently, he earned a degree in civil engineering. Later, he earned a J.D. degree from University of South Dakota School of Law.

Senator Abourezk was elected as a United States Representative from South Dakota in 1970. He served in that role for one term before being elected as a United States Senator for South Dakota in 1972, where he served until 1979. Senator Abourezk made history as the U.S.’s first Arab American Senator. He sadly passed away in February 2023. 

How to Apply

For those interested in applying, please submit the following:

  • A personal statement explaining why you are pursuing a life in public service, what your career goals are, and how you intend on utilizing the scholarship. 
  • Two (2) signed letters of recommendation from political science or public policy professors.
  • Official academic transcripts (minimum 3.0 GPA)
  • Your permanent home address, phone number, e-mail address, and a declaration that you are a U.S. citizen of Arab heritage.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.
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