James A. Davis Jr. was a voluntary racial transfer student at Roosevelt High School from 1968 to 1971, where he became a leader among his peers. He served as senior class vice president, was a leader in Junior Achievement, played varsity football, and played clarinet in the marching band. Throughout his life James always showed his love of family and friends, respect for others as his equal, and dedication to his faith. At Roosevelt he was known for reaching across racial lines and participating in meaningful relationships with all students, no matter what their backgrounds.
After high school he graduated from the University of Washington and worked for IBM, first in Seattle and then in New Jersey, where he spent the rest of his life. He continued to serve in leadership in his community, his church, and his fraternity in a wide variety of volunteer positions. While living on the East Coast, James nevertheless kept close ties to his Roosevelt classmates and to his alma mater, attending reunions and seeing his high school friends in Seattle over the years.
He passed away in 2013 but his memory continues to inspire his former RHS classmates. Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equality (RARE) established two $5,000 annual scholarships for economically disadvantaged students of color at Roosevelt in his honor. Working in partnership with school staff, RARE has established a clear selection process for the scholarships, which are available to graduating students who are planning to attend college, trade school or a professional training program. We seek candidates who have contributed toward creating a climate of racial equity at Roosevelt and who have demonstrated a commitment to furthering their education. The Scholarship application is here and you may donate to the Scholarship fund below.