“Congressman Stokes actively supported and participated in the educational programs of the Mandel School for more than 40 years,. He was a good friend and colleague. He will be missed personally and professionally.”
- Dr. Terry Hokenstad
Ralph S. & Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor of Social Work
As a congressman and community member, Louis Stokes dedicated himself to the advancement of minority students and communities in Cleveland. Stokes’ legacy is continued by this fellowship focusing on educating African-American and Hispanic professionals in community development to transform urban neighborhoods to improve the quality of life through economic, housing and civic development.
Representative Louis Stokes (CC ’49) (HON ’91) faithfully served the Ohio 11th and 21st districts for 15 terms as Ohio’s first black congressman. Throughout his career, Stokes was an advocate for minority students and a beloved friend and eventual faculty member at Case Western Reserve University. So great was Stokes’ passion for social change and community development that after being succeeded by Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones in the House of Representatives he was made a distinguished guest lecturer in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Stokes’ expertise as a policy maker and civil rights champion lent well to the classroom and many students described him as inspirational and reaffirming their choice to become social workers. As a public figure, volunteer, advocate, and champion of Cleveland, Stokes consistently stood up for those who were underrepresented in society. The establishment of this fellowship is yet another way in which Stokes sought sustainable leadership and social change in those communities.