Two Tars Named Ginsburg Fellows
October 05, 2023
By Jessica Firpi ’11
Ben Mack-Jackson ’24 and Liam King ’24 have been selected among the first cohort of Ginsburg Fellows, a new scholarship and mentoring program.
Launched by prolific real estate developer, entrepreneur, and Rollins Trustee Alan Ginsburg, the Ginsburg Family Foundation does significant philanthropic work in Central Florida in health care, arts, education, and human rights. With the aim of empowering students to be positive activists for social justice, the Ginsburg Fellows Program provides local youth with academic scholarships, program seed funding, networking opportunities, mentoring, and education.
In partnership with the Take Action Institute and the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center, the program creates a rallying place for student leaders to be catalysts for change and launch nonprofit efforts in the Central Florida community. The students chosen for the program demonstrate enthusiasm for social justice and get the opportunity to apply their skills and passion to making systemic changes in the community.
In its inaugural year, the Ginsburg Fellows Program selected just six college students from seven Central Florida schools, among them international relations major Ben Mack-Jackson ’24 and history major Liam King ’24.
As a visual storyteller and founder of the nonprofit organization WWII Veterans History Project, Mack-Jackson is passionate about history preservation and ensuring the lessons of the past are not forgotten. Having conducted interviews with more than 100 World War II veterans, he has produced a feature-length documentary, Normandy Revisited, and a traveling museum displaying war artifacts, as well as authored the book World War II History for Teens.
As a Ginsburg Fellow, Mack-Jackson aims to develop a documentary series that explores the impact of war documentation on public perception, drawing from World War II and the ongoing war in Ukraine. The series will feature personal stories, showcasing firsthand experiences from individuals who lived through these conflicts to humanize war and to underscore the importance of empathy. Mack-Johnson hopes to raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and prompt critical reflection on perceptions of war and the desensitization of violence.
King, a Bonner Leader, is interning at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center and serving on the board of directors of the LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida. This past summer, King undertook the ambitious task of co-authoring a book on the photographic history of Rollins from the student perspective through Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, and he is writing his honors thesis on queer Orlando history.
For his Ginsburg Fellows Program project, King—in response to political efforts targeting diversity and inclusion efforts, racial realities, and queer expressions and identities in public education—seeks to unite Central Florida educators from various organizations to create and publish DEI-focused educational material for high-school students and their families. The project will also allow local agencies to more easily access relevant educational materials and services from other organizations.
The fellowship includes a $2,500 annual academic scholarship and a $2,500 startup grant for the students’ project ideas as well as the ability to utilize the Ginsburg Family Foundation network to pitch their project to other donors for further funding. King and Mack-Jackson will present their projects in a panel session at the next Take Action Institute Conference in Orlando this October.
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