MILWAUKEE - In addition to its annual onboard tribute recognizing Rosa Parks and her contribution to the fight for equality and equity for all, the Milwaukee County Transit System announced today the formation of the first-ever MCTS Rosa Parks Tribute Scholarship.
MCTS asks high school seniors in Milwaukee County who will attend a trade school, college, or university to submit a short essay inspired by Parks’ quote, “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” Entries must be submitted by January 8, 2021 in order to be considered. Three winners, who will each receive $1,000 towards their higher education, will be announced on Parks’ birthday, February 4, 2021. You can read more about the scholarship here.
For the past five years, MCTS has kept a seat open on every bus in the fleet from Tuesday, December 1 through Thursday, December 3. Each reserved seat includes a red rose and a special placard that features Parks’ photo and a message about her courageous act.
Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, after refusing to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her small act of civil disobedience led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation on public transportation.
“Even though she is no longer with us, Rosa Parks’ legacy continues to inspire us at Milwaukee County as we move forward on the path to achieve racial equity,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “We have a responsibility to honor the giants whose shoulders we stand upon today and never forget the acts they took to make this country a more perfect union. The MCTS Rosa Parks Tribute Scholarship honors those who came before us and invests in the next generation of leaders who will guide our community to reach even greater heights.”
In 2019, Milwaukee County became the first jurisdiction in the nation to declare racism a public health crisis. Since then, more than 80 communities have followed suit.