Lincoln Scholars program, with image of three girls walking to class

Undergraduate Scholars participate in a one credit seminar course during the fall and spring semesters to explore applied ethics through an interdisciplinary approach. They also work together on a meaningful real world project during their second semester. Our program includes a diverse group of students with varying beliefs, cultures and values who share a commitment to understanding and improving the communities to which they belong.  Students are awarded an academic scholarship for their participation. 

Applications will be accepted again Spring 2022. 

Applications will be accepted through the ASU Scholarship Portal: 

Students accepted into the program will be required to take a one credit course Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.

Questions? Sean Kenney, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics,

What is a Lincoln Scholar seminar like?

 Oct. 5th, 2020 "The Ethics of Witness, Presence and Loss" with Dr. Lois Brown

This seminar discussed the U.S. racial climate and advised students how to navigate through the trauma, and beyond.

Students read two readings before this talk, “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning” (NYTimes, June 22, 2015) by Claudia Rankine, and excerpts from The Bone Woman (2004) by Clea Koff. At the start of the seminar, Dr. Brown asked students for their questions based off the readings.

Adrianna (student) posed the general question: “How far do we need to go? What do we need to do exactly? It needed to happen a long time ago so it better start happening soon.” 

In this moment, Dr. Brown was previously talking to Lincoln Center Manager Sean Kenney about how all of us have come through a summer that is truly devastating, between the global pandemic and systematic racism. Dr. Brown shared with the students, "We didn’t want to drag you through all of that again, in thinking about what we could read. However, this Rankin piece could be a 2020 page, it's from 2015 and you could pick it up and move it into this horrible year. How far have we come? In some ways, we haven’t moved at all. To Adrianna's point, what can be done? It’s also about, what is left to reveal? What more information do we need to get?

Below is an excerpt from “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning” (NYTimes, June 22, 2015) by Claudia Rankine.

Mamie Till Mobley at the funeral of her son, Emmett Till, in Chicago
Mamie Till Mobley at the funeral of her son, Emmett Till, in Chicago in September 1955. Credit:Chicago Sun-Times/Associated Press

In 1955, when Emmett Till’s mutilated and bloated body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River and placed for burial in a nailed-shut pine box, his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, demanded his body be transported from Mississippi, where Till had been visiting relatives, to his home in Chicago. Once the Chicago funeral home received the body, she made a decision that would create a new pathway for how to think about a lynched body. She requested an open coffin and allowed photographs to be taken and published of her dead son’s disfigured body. 

Mobley’s refusal to keep private grief private allowed a body that meant nothing to the criminal-justice system to stand as evidence. By placing both herself and her son’s corpse in positions of refusal relative to the etiquette of grief, she “disidentified” with the tradition of the lynched figure left out in public view as a warning to the black community, thereby using the lynching tradition against itself. The spectacle of the black body, in her hands, publicized the injustice mapped onto her son’s corpse. “Let the people see what I see,” she said, adding, “I believe that the whole United States is mourning with me.”

We are grateful to Dr. Lois Brown for her knowledgeable insights and rich conversation with our Lincoln Scholars.