Image result for jesse hagopian pepper sprayIn January of 2015, Jesse Hagopian gave the final speech at Seattle’s Martin Luther King Day rally.  Not long after, he was pepper-sprayed without provocation by an officer of the Seattle Police Department.  The incident was captured on video by an onlooker. Jesse reached a settlement over the incident with the City of Seattle and used the proceeds to start the “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award.”

Seattle Public School students  (or advocates on their behalf) can apply for the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award by filling out this application.


The Black Education Matters Student Activist Award fund offers a $1000 package to a deserving Seattle public school student who demonstrates exceptional leadership in struggles for social justice, and against institutional or structural racism. Student can nominate themselves, or can be nominated by a friend, teacher, coach, counselor, parent or others.

Criteria for selecting the awardee:
• Any student who has been enrolled for a semester or more in a Seattle public school.
• A student who has shown social justice leadership in struggles against racism—especially with an understanding of the intersections with sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamaphobia, class exploitation and other forms of oppression—within their school or community.

Application instructions: Nominees must submit required material by May 1, 2017, to be considered for funding.
• Applicant or nominee name and other requested information, see below.
• Clippings or links to evidence or stories about the student’s work, if available.
• In addition to the information in the form, send 2 letters of recommendation, each not less than 300 or more than 700 words each, describing the nominee’s work and why it is deserving of recognition and how the student’s leadership qualities may further social justice work in the future.
• Note there are no restrictions for how the Nominee uses the funds obtained through this award.

The application for the award is available here:

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