The A. Philip Randolph (APRI) St. Louis Chapter recently awarded its first $500 William “Bill” Stodghill Scholarship to Kaitlyn Franklin.
Stodghill was an active, innovative Labor leader in St. Louis in the 1980s and ’90s, known for his fights on behalf of nursing home workers, janitors and the “unseen workforce.” He died following an extensive illness in July 2005.
The scholarship that bears his name is awarded to a high school senior planning to continue their education by attending a university or technical college. This year’s scholarship winner is Kaitlyn Franklin, the granddaughter of IAM Lodge 837A member Carline Lang-Smith.
“Our scholarship committee worked hard to establish the criteria and raise funds to support the scholarship,” said Keith Robinson, president of the APRI St. Louis Chapter. “It’s our hope to award two scholarships next year, if we are able to successfully raise enough funds.”
The Scholarship Committee consists of Chair Tony Scott, Carline Lang-Smith and Addie Phillip of IAM District Lodge 837A; President Emeritus Tony Hill; Floyd Bell, of CWA Local 6300; Natashia Pickens, president of CWA Local 6355; and Donna Rogers, of AFGE Local 3354.
A graduate of Hazelwood Central High School, Kaitlyn is studying environmental science at Indiana State University.
She and other applicants were required to write an essay on Labor unionist and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, who in 1925 organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African-American labor union.
Randolph later motivated President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry Truman to ban discrimination in the defense industries during World War II in 1941, and Harry S. Truman to end segregation in the armed services in 1948.
In 1963, Randolph led the March on Washington, where The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.