We are in the midst of a defining moment in our history, which we will look back on and ask ourselves: “what did I do and how did I support communities most impacted by injustice”? The New York Times identified our community of East Elmhurst & Corona as a neighborhood “in the epicenter of the epicenter” of COVID-19 . We are among the communities of color most disproportionately affected by this virus that exposed, once again, the racial inequities and health disparities that exist in America. We lost so much. The Johnson Family, Elmcor, and Queens lost a community champion in Rodney “Digga” Johnson to COVID. Rodney, dubbed the “Mayor of the people,” was a believer in young men and women of color and an organizer in his community.

This weekend marks two months since Rodney’s passing and would have featured our annual Family Day, where all those who love our community converge at P.S. 127 Park. Although we can’t congregate this year, we will celebrate Rodney’s life by launching a scholarship in his name. The Johnson Family and Elmcor want to ensure that his work of encouraging young people of color to pursue their dreams can continue. Justice requires a multifaceted approach and this is one way we fight for our Black and Brown youth. Please support this Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of a true community leader and foster the growth of those who will follow in his footsteps.