April 2021 Celebrate! Maya Project Newsletter

Happy Birthday, Happy Poetry Month Maya Angelou!

We celebrate Maya Angelou each and every day, but we take great pride and honor in celebrating her life and legacy in the month of April, the month of her birth. This year, we are honoring her in some new and exciting ways, beyond the annual Celebrate! Maya Project recognition events.  

We are so very honored to launch, in partnership with the Writers Colony of Dairy Hollow, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the Celebrate! Maya Project Young Writers Fellowship on Social Justice! What is most humbling about this first-time fellowship is that it is underwritten by our very own board members. 

This opportunity was Initiated by pediatrician, writer and philanthropist Adele Holmes and is 

in collaboration with social justice attorney Janetta Kearney, both very active board members of the Celebrate! Maya Project. We can’t thank these two ladies enough. More details about this fellowship can be found within this newsletter, but please remember submissions open April 5, 2021.

On April 29, 2021, the Celebrate! Maya Project will partner with the Antioch College Coretta Scott King Center for Social Justice, as we celebrate both Maya Angelou and Coretta Scott King’s life, their commitment to social justice, and their April birthdays. Who knew that Coretta Scott King graduated with a music degree from Antioch College in Ohio? Did you know that she and Maya Angelou were sister friends, or that Maya Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, at one time? We are so grateful to be honoring these social justice giants this year. 

While our annual “Day of Remembrance…honoring the life and Legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou,” is usually held in April, the COVID pandemic has forced us to move our celebration to March.  On March 31, 2021, we will announce our two Lakeside High School Maya Scholars, and our Maya Angelou Emerging Poets and Honorable Mentions. Our Day of Remembrance recognizes Maya Angelou’s legacy through the youth we support throughout the year. This day is always uplifting and inspirational as we see our future before us share their essays about Maya Angelou and their poetry, inspired by her works. We will also announce our Lafayette County (Stamps) High School Maya Scholars in April! 

During this National Poetry Month, we continue to honor Dr. Maya Angelou as America and the world’s poet laureate emeritus. Her words will ring true as long as there is a world. Her words continue to inspire the world. Her optimism uplifts us no matter how dire our days, and the Celebrate! Maya Project will continue to shine a light on her greatness, her creativity, her humanity, and her gifts to the world.

Please visit our website and social media pages during the month of April, as we will be paying special homage to Maya Angelou. We will also be asking you to share your personal memories of Dr. Angelou and your original poetry inspired by her. 

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our April events!

Janis F. Kearney, President & Founder


Mark Your Calendar! Submissions for the Celebrate! Maya Project Young Writers Fellowship on Social Justice opens April 5, 2021!  

The Celebrate! Maya Project is eternally grateful to board members Adele Holmes and Janetta Kearney for their generous and gracious underwriting of the Celebrate! Maya Project Young Writers Fellowship on Social Justice. Thank you to Michelle Hannon, director of the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, for working with us to make this fellowship a reality.

“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”

  • Maya Angelou

This fellowship invites young writers ages 18 to 25 to explore social justice issues including racial discrimination, women’s rights, and educational disparity. The work may be in any literary genre: fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, or a combination. A successful application will demonstrate insight, honesty, literary merit, and the likelihood of publication.

Two fellowships will be awarded. One will be unrestricted. The other will be awarded to a young writer from the Arkansas Southern Delta region. Fellowship winners receive a two-week residency to focus completely on their work at the Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow’s Maya Angelou suite in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Each writer’s suite includes a bedroom, private bathroom, separate writing space, and wireless internet. Fellowship recipients are provided with uninterrupted writing time, a European-style gourmet dinner prepared five nights a week and served in a community dining room, the camaraderie of other professional writers when you want it, and a community kitchen stocked with the basics for breakfast and lunch. Fellows are also given the opportunity to participate in the community outreach of their choice and are provided the chance to be published in eMerge, the online literary magazine of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.  

Applications must be accompanied by a writing sample and a nonrefundable $35 application fee. Writers proposing more than one project must submit a separate application and fee for each one. The submission period opens April 5, 2021. Applications are due June 28, 2021. The winner will be announced no later than July 16, 2021. Residency must be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. For an application form, visit www.writerscolony.org/sponsor-a-fellowship.


About The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists without discrimination. We foster an environment that allows writers to work, interact with the wider community, stimulate new thinking, and energize creative expression.   For more information about funding a fellowship supporting the genre and/or area of interest you are passionate about, visit www.writerscolony.org/sponsor-a-fellowship

About the Celebrate! Maya Project

​The mission of the Celebrate! Maya Project is to honor and encourage literacy, creativity and the social consciousness of our youth and community through the inspiring life and work of artist and activist Maya Angelou. Learn more at www.celebratemayaproject.org


About our board members 

Adele Holmes is a pediatrician who retired to write and wander. Her objective is to speak to social injustice while using her medical background and knowledge of the world through travel to weave tales that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. Her novel, “Winter’s Reckoning,” will be published in 2022. Learn more at adeleholmes.com

Janetta Kearney holds many titles. As an attorney, former judge magistrate, AIDS administrator, director of Consumer Rights for the state of Hawaii, and corporate human resources official, she founded JK Esquire to serve as a voice and a conduit for righting some of the many social justice and legal wrongs that burden people of color and the impoverished. JK Esquire’s motto is to be “a voice for the voiceless to preserve and improve the justice system to insure free and just involvement for all, under the law.”

For more information about this and other fellowships: https://www.writerscolony.org/fellowships


2021 Coretta Scott King Center Legacy Celebration: Sisterhood & Social Justice

Please plan to join us April 29, 2021, for this event co-hosted by the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom and Celebrate! Maya Project.

This gathering will celebrate the life and legacy of two American giants, Coretta Scott King (Antioch College Class of 1951) and Maya Angelou, both born in the month of April and both of whom left the world better thanks to their legacy rooted in civil rights, social justice, and the humanities.

This event will be an acknowledgment of—and celebration of—these women’s lifelong works to address America’s historical racial and social injustices through their art, humanities, civil rights and social justice efforts, and a recognition of other Americans whose work closely aligns. 

This celebration will be followed by discussions on how we utilize Mrs. King and Dr. Angelou’s works as blueprints for addressing America’s social injustices and inequalities, and how we measure present and future progress made by local and national groups.

Details about the program will be available soon*, but save the date! This program is free to attend.

 To Registerantiochcollege.edu/cskc-legacy-2021

2021 Coretta Scott King Center Legacy Celebration:
Sisterhood & Social Justice

Thursday, April 29, 2021R

12-2 p.m. Central time