Under Phelps Stokes Special Projects Program is the Ralph Bunche Societies (RBS).
Ralph Bunche Societies encourage minority students to value global affairs and apply their learning on a global scale, regardless of their field of study. Each Ralph Bunche Society tailors its mission to draw upon the unique strengths of each institution and reflect the needs of its members. The vision of the Ralph Bunche Societies is the creation of a partnership collaborative to catalyze the emergence of a critical mass of leaders from marginalized communities who demonstrate ethical leadership, academic excellence, social engagement, service to others, and civic responsibility in domestic and international contexts. Public high schools across the country often do not provide minority and working class students the foundational knowledge and skills to better understand, function, and lead in an increasingly global world.
And when they do study at a community college or university, there are few effective programs that help them learn more about leadership and international affairs from the perspective of disadvantaged communities. Phelps Stokes’ Ralph Bunche Societies , in part, seek to address the dearth of leadership development activities for minority and working class students in the United States Phelps Stokes is working to advance the movement to properly equip emerging leaders with the skills and values necessary to promote social justice and transform communities around the world.
Open to all, but with an emphasis on minority and working class students, the Ralph Bunche Societies are extracurricular undergraduate student-led associations dedicated to developing globally aware and exposed emerging leaders who exercise their global citizenship – regardless of their field of study – through an emphasis on leadership development, scholarly excellence, language proficiency, cultural awareness, community service and activism, and professional development, perpetuating the life work, legacy, and values of Dr. Bunche.
A scholar, educator, civil rights advocate, and world statesman, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche achieved international renown as the first person of color to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. As United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General, Bunche is considered by many to be America’s greatest contributor to the UN, specifically in the areas of decolonization, peacekeeping, and human and civil rights. Bunche was among the distinguished leaders of the Phelps Stokes Fund, having served as a member of the Board of Trustees for over twenty years. He was the quintessential international public servant. The values which Bunche brought to his work as a scholar, activist, and international leader provide members of the Ralph Bunche Societies with a roadmap and moral compass to guide them through their academic and professional careers.
“May there be freedom, equality and brotherhood among all men. May there be morality in the relations among nations. May there be, in our time, at long last, a world at peace in which, we, the people, may for once begin to make full use of the great good that is in us.”
— Dr. Ralph J. Bunche’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Address December 19, 1950