Ogden Honors sophomore becomes LSU’s first John Robert Lewis Scholar

May 18, 2022

Antavion “Tay” Moore is an Ogden Honors College sophomore studying political science and music. Moore is a Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL), Ron Brown, and now, LSU’s first Faith & Politics Institute John Robert Lewis Scholar.

The John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program is named for the Civil Rights icon and longtime Georgia Congressman. The program objectives are to build a nationwide network of emerging leaders to organize with discipline and unity and to create positive societal change based on the revolutionary nonviolent perspective that transformed the nation and the world toward freedom — the American Civil Rights Movement. The program is taught in part by the people who made historical change — and by those who are making it today.

As a John Robert Lewis Scholar Moore will spend a full year of deep learning and personal transformation with his cohort. He will participate in an orientation, the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage, and virtual sessions featuring conversations on racial, economic, and social inequities.

A native of Ringgold, La., Moore had earned two associate degrees from Bossier Parish Community College before graduating high school. He is passionate about advocating for marginalized communities and positive youth development. Tay exemplifies his faith and dedication to civic engagement through serving on the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, National 4-H Young Alumni Advisory Committee, as LSU Collegiate 4-H Co-President and Music Director of Full Gospel United Pentecostal Church in Baton Rouge, LA.

When asked about what inspired him to pursue this scholarship, Moore talked about “proximity.” “Growing up, I spent a remarkable amount of time with my great grandparents. With them being from two generations before me, it always instilled, I guess, the principles of the civil rights movement, even though I didn't physically experience it myself, I felt connected to that era. And I think having that proximity to them has really set me apart in the way I approach creating change in my community,” said Moore.

Moore is also thankful for the support he’s received to get him to this point. “Throughout my life, my parents and Pastor have always stressed the importance of showing faith through authentic service to my community. When I was debating applying to the program, Dr. Babcock encouraged me and agreed to write a letter of recommendation. After advancing to the interview round, Ms. Cindy reached out to conduct a mock interview and provided constructive, beneficial feedback. All the while, my high school guidance counselor, former high school English teacher, Collegiate 4-H advisor, and LASAL cohort offered support. Being selected to participate in this program would not have been possible without them,” recalls Moore.

Moore credits the LASAL Scholars Program for expanding his awareness and understanding of systemic and structural barriers marginalized communities and people face and diverse perspectives for addressing these issues. “LASAL allows me to learn with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We have meaningful conversations and take action to solve some of the challenges we see in our communities,” said Moore. “I know my experience as a John Robert Lewis Scholar will only enhance the educational foundation and allow me to serve my community in the most impactful ways.”

While nothing is certain, Moore hopes to use his experiences and education to pursue a career in public service in Louisiana one day.