April 2021

Culture of Equity

Volume 1 Issue 1

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Elijah Christopher Devaughn, Jr.

Alliance Alum wins Marshall and Rhodes Scholarships!

In November 2020, Elijah won both the Marshall and Rhodes Scholarships. After graduation, he will attend Oxford University, pursuing an MPhil in History as a Rhodes Scholar.

 

Elijah Christopher “EJayy” DeVaughn, Jr. is a scholar, storyteller, and public servant. For the first thirteen years of his life, Elijah’s father was incarcerated. In those years, he was raised by his single mother and grandmother in the city of Compton, California. Elijah first encountered the Independent School Alliance at the young age of five; The Alliance helped him gain admission and a full-ride scholarship to Chadwick School. From Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade, Elijah attended Chadwick School where he was an avid academic, thespian, and athlete. Elijah performed in eight Chadwick theatre productions, winning the California Educational Theatre Association award of “Best Supporting Actor in California”  in both 2015 and 2016. He received all-CIF distinction for his performance on the football field, where he served as Varsity Football Team Captain. He also contributed to new Chadwick School Track and Field records.  Elijah was inducted into the Cum Laude Society, Chadwick's highest academic award reserved for those students in the top ten percent of the graduating class. At the end of his senior year, Elijah received Chadwick's “Founders' Award” reserved for those two students in the graduating class who demonstrate all-around excellence in the academic, athletic and social spheres.

 

Currently, Elijah is a member of the Harvard College Class of 2021, where he is pursuing a degree in History and Literature with a Secondary in African American Studies and a Citation in Spanish. During his time at Harvard, Elijah founded EJayyTalks, a lecture series he conducted in the Compton Unified School District to inspire Compton’s youth. He served as the Co-Chair of the Fellows and Study Group Program at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, where he hosted Harvard’s most high-profile guests including Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Ambassador Catherine Russell, and Brittany Packnett, to name a few. Also, he served as a research assistant to Professor David Gergen, a former presidential advisor to four United States Presidents. Not only this, Elijah has been active in performing arts, performing in Harvard's mainstage show “Owl Answers” in 2017, dancing in the yearly Eleganza Fashion Show, and serving as a lead singer in the Harvard 21 Colorful Crimson music group. Elijah is a Spring 2019 initiate and former Polemarch of the Theta Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

 

Recently, Elijah finished an honors Senior thesis entitled “Tactician, Theorist, and Trailblazer: Shirley Chisholm’s Black Power in Practice” that explored Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s unique contributions to the Black political tradition. Outside of Harvard, in summer 2018, Elijah served as a legislative intern for then-Senator Kamala Harris in Washington D.C. In summer 2020, he served on the Clemency Team of Governor Gavin Newsom, which advises the Governor of whom should be granted clemency.

 

A God-fearing man, Elijah is committed to producing scholarship and engaging in political action that imagines and creates a world that is more forgiving, more equitable, and, most of all, more just. 

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