“I am convinced that for things to be better, one must keep striving to change ignorance to understanding.” So Andrew Bourns, George School Class of 1987, began his Birmingham journal in the fall of 1989. A junior at the College of Wooster, Andrew had chosen to serve as an intern there in the office of the mayor. He was attracted to that Alabama city when he learned that a community which in the 1960s had put Martin Luther King in jail now had a black mayor.
By the end of his Birmingham experience, Andrew’s passion for social justice—most especially for bettering the plight of black young people—had become a commitment that promised to shape his life. As he wrote to a prospective employer in October 1991: “It is almost thirty years after Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech. . . . I share Dr. King’s dream and would like to become part of the solution.” Less than a month later, Andrew Bourns suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 23.
“Today’s young must inherit the mistakes of our society,” Andrew wrote shortly before his death, “but they are also capable of changing these mistakes and finding new solutions.” The Andrew Bourns Social Justice Student Grants represent a way for students who share this vision to make a difference in this world that Andrew would have made had he lived. The purpose of the Student Grants is to enable George School students to experience “life” in the city and to work on social justice in the inner cities in the United States.