Robertson Alum Selected to Join 4th Cohort of Marshall-Motley Scholars

Image courtesy of Naraya Price and The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program

Join us in congratulating Naraya Price (Robertson ’21) on being named a Marshall-Motley Scholar!

The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program aims to cultivate the next generation of civil rights lawyers throughout the South by positioning them as leaders and advocates dedicated to pursuing racial justice.

The program was established by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in 2021 and is named for Thurgood Marshall — LDF’s founder and the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice — and Constance Baker Motley, former LDF attorney and the first Black woman to become a federal judge. In addition to a full scholarship to law school, summer internships at the LDF and other prestigious civil rights organizations,  Marshall-Motley Scholars commit to serving communities across the South for 8 years after the conclusion a post-graduate fellowship also sponsored by the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to “create pathways to leadership, self-sufficiency, and socio-economic progress, while developing individuals to become ambassadors and advocates for transformational change in Black communities in the South,” (source:

As a Marshall-Motley Scholar, Naraya will enroll at Yale University this fall and begin her formal legal education. She shared her insights into leadership, and what this honor means to her.

Q: What does being a Marshall-Motley Scholar mean to you?

Naraya: The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program seeks to establish a cadre of civil rights attorneys living and working in the South on behalf of Black communities. Named after luminaries of the civil rights movement, including the venerable Thurgood Marshall and the indomitable Constance Baker Motley, to be a Marshall-Motley Scholar is both humbling and inspiring. I am thrilled to carry their torch forward alongside my fellow scholars, all seeking to advance Black people’s life outcomes but from vastly different perspectives, which will only amplify the potency of our collective endeavors.    

Q: What do you hope to contribute as a young lawyer focused on racial justice, civil rights, and human rights?

Naraya:  I hope to leverage my legal education to advocate for research-informed educational practices that foster opportunity for all students, especially Black youth living in poverty. Further, I’m interested in comprehensively understanding and deconstructing the intricate dynamics of the school-to-prison nexus, intricately interwoven within our nation’s disquieting 75% recidivism rate. I hope my research and advocacy fighting for and alongside Black communities can work towards a transformative landscape wherein Black communities are empowered and equipped to transcend systemic constraints and pursue avenues of advancement.   

 Q: How has being a Robertson impacted your journey as a transformational leader so far?

Naraya: The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program has profoundly shaped my academic and professional journey through invaluable lessons learned during Community Summer, the camaraderie of fellow Scholars, and the unparalleled programming that continually challenged me, broadened my perspectives, and fueled my pursuit of truth and justice. Through my Community Summer internship in The Mississippi Delta with The Sunflower County Freedom Project (SCFP) teaching reading to middle school students, I learned how achieving racial justice is inextricably bound to realizing educational equity. With intentional and rigorous curricular programs that met students’ individualized needs, the Freedom Project prepared dozens of scholars to be the first in their families to graduate from college. Witnessing the SCFP break chains of generational poverty spurred inquiry about how we can create public schools that ensure advancement for all students. Further, it was living and working in rural Mississippi that summer that made me passionate about doing racial justice work in the South, where the largest population of Black people in America reside.

Congratulations Naraya!