Butzel Long celebrates 40-year pro bono client The Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation


DETROIT, Mich. –  The legacy of Rosa L. Parks continues through a foundation established 40 years ago with guidance from Butzel Long law firm.

Together with The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools, Butzel Long incorporated The Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation (RPSF), which has sent more than 2,400 students to college with scholarships. The firm has continued to co-administer the Foundation since its inception. The scholarships grant high school seniors a one-time $2,000 award in the name of the late civil rights leader. This year, 41 students received scholarships.

Notably, Butzel Long yearly sponsors a Butzel Long Rosa Parks Scholarship granted to a rising college freshman. The 2020 recipient is Drue Bender, a Renaissance High School graduate. She plans to pursue a career in political advocacy/law and will be attending Michigan State University this fall.

The Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation is dedicated to awarding scholarships to Michigan high school seniors who hold close to Mrs. Parks’ ideals while demonstrating academic skills, community involvement and economic need.

Richard E. Rassel, Chairman, Butzel Long chaired the Foundation for many years. He said, “Getting to know Mrs. Parks was a highlight of my career.”

“We’ve been involved with the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation from the start including paying half of the administrative expenses of the Foundation from the outset,” said James S. Rosenfeld, Butzel Long labor and employment law attorney and vice president of the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors. “Our support has grown over the years. Dick played a crucial role in the Foundation’s endowment, and, consequently, number of scholarships, dramatically increasing. In recognition of Dick’s service to the Foundation and leadership at Butzel Long, the firm committed to our annual scholarship. It is an honor for Butzel Long to work with the Foundation.”

Incidentally, The Detroit News announced on July 9 that the Rosa L. Parks Foundation will receive funds from its sales of a vintage T-shirt that says, “The Detroit News – the first good news of the day.” Actress Drew Barrymore is photographed wearing the vintage T-shirt on the cover of the August edition of InStyle Magazine.

“This thoughtful gesture to benefit the Rosa L. Park Scholarship Foundation is a special highlight to recognize Mrs. Parks and celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Foundation,” added Rosenfeld.

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