The Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement

Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) will bestow the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement on a select number of high school juniors (class of 2018) in the United States beginning in Spring 2017. We encourage interested students to apply, and we welcome others to nominate candidates for the Yale Bassett Award. The application deadline is February 1, 2017.

The Yale Bassett Award honors the legacy of Ebenezer Bassett (1833-1908). Born into a Native American (Schaghticoke) and African American family nearly two hundred years ago, Ebenezer Bassett excelled at the Connecticut Normal School (now Central Connecticut State) and at Yale, where he pursued courses in mathematics and classics in the 1850s. Bassett subsequently became an influential educator, an abolitionist, and a public servant with a national and international vision. He was named consul general to Haiti and chargé d’affaires to the Dominican Republic; he gained a hemispheric understanding of racial politics; and he served as Haiti’s consul in New York City.

Yale Bassett Award winners will demonstrate a record of creative leadership and public service, academic distinction, interdisciplinary problem solving, and experience addressing societal issues that might include, but need not be limited to, race and racism. Students with non-traditional leadership experiences or significant work experiences are also encouraged to apply. To be considered for the Yale Bassett Award, interested high school students in the class of 2018 should provide an account of their relevant experiences and aspirations (up to 500 words), a description of their academic record, a list of their extracurricular commitments and leadership positions, and the name of a teacher, mentor, coach, religious leader, community-based non-profit leader, or community member who will provide them a letter of recommendation by February 1, 2017. Faculty members in Yale’s RITM Center also encourage nominations of outstanding students by school counselors, high school teachers and administrators, Yale alumni, community members, and others using the nomination form.

Winners will receive a book signed by the Dean of Yale College. Winners will also be invited to a gathering during their senior years hosted by the RITM Center at Yale in October 2017.

Questions about the Bassett Award can be directed to