Metro Atlanta Middle and High School Students Awarded Scholarships for their Commitment to Human Rights

In Celebration of Human Rights Week, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Ford Motor Company Joined Together to Award the 2012 Essay Contest Winners.

Dec 13, 2012, 14:15 ET from The National Center for Civil and Human Rights

ATLANTA, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, announced the winners of the "Read It. Embrace It. Express It." – 2012 Essay Contest Saturday, December 8th at the annual RISE celebration at the Rialto Center. Awards were presented to Metro Atlanta middle and high school students whose essays expressed their interpretation of one or more of the 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

"We are very thrilled to find that so many young individuals understand the critical importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said Doug Shipman, NCCHR CEO. "My hope is that they continue to spread their knowledge, and build awareness in their communities."

All awards were made possible by a generous grant from Ford Motor Company Fund. The funding demonstrates Ford's support of NCCHR's ongoing efforts to build a community of young leaders committed to promoting the rights of individuals around the world. 

"Ford Motor Company is proud to support the youth of Atlanta through this scholarship and community program," said Pamela Alexander, director community development, Ford Motor Company Fund.  "We applaud their interest in working to build a better community and a better world."

Scholarship awards were presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and NCCHR to five middle school students and three high school students. Middle school winners: Burhan Ali of Sequoyah Middle School, JaiLiaunna Brooks of Clements Middle School, Zaria Franklin of The Ron Academy, Flynn Kelly of Inman Middle School, and Leonard McReynolds of KIPP: WAYs Academy were awarded $500.

The first place high school winner, Masoka Nyasa, a twelfth grader from Elizabeth Andrew High School, was awarded $1,500. Austin Green, a twelfth grader from North Springs High School, received the second place award of $1,000, and Selina Kongngoen, a ninth grader from Mount Zion High School, received the third place award of $750.

A powerful performance in honor of the 64th anniversary of the UDHR followed the awards ceremony. The celebration included staged readings by actors Crystal Fox, Elaine Hendrix, Tom Key, and Lamman Rucker, and special performances by Full Radius Dance and the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta.

About The Center: The National Center for Civil and Human Rights broke ground in 2012 and will open in 2014.  It will display The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection (King Papers), the award-winning Without Sanctuary lynching exhibit and serve as a hub for ongoing dialogue, attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. Located in Downtown Atlanta at Pemberton Place and equipped with broadcast and event space, the Center will host civil and human rights conversations among scholars, organizations and the public.  For more information, visit

About Ford Motor Company: Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

SOURCE The National Center for Civil and Human Rights