A year after massive protests against police violence and calls for reform were spurred by George Floyd’s murder, The R Wood Family Foundation Inc. and the family of a deceased former NYPD police detective, Ray Wood, announced a college scholarship to encourage minority college students to study criminal justice.
“The Ray Wood Scholarship aims to support police reform by assisting individuals with a passion to promote change from within,” said the scholarship’s founder, Reggie Wood, Ray Wood’s cousin. The scholarship will be funded with proceeds from a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) based a letter written by Ray prior to his death in November 2020. This letter, which Reggie Wood first read during a press conference at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in New York City on February 20, 2021, is the R Wood Family Foundation’s initial foray into the NFT category.
“We believe that this is the first letter of its kind to be released by way of the blockchain,” said Mr. Wood. “Thanks to the censorship-resistant attributes of the blockchain, we plan to release a series of similar letters, ensuring history will live forever.”
The NFTs will be available on the Ethereum blockchain beginning Friday, May 28, 2021, and listed by OMGDrops.com, a decentralized and autonomous NFT platform. With the recent highly publicized Derek Chauvin conviction, and polls showing that Americans think the time for massive police reform has come, The R Wood Family Foundation has enlisted the assistance of Civil Rights Attorney, Benjamin Crump.
Added Wood, “The time is right for new methods of law enforcement training to transfer to the real world. My cousin Ray Wood joined the New York Police Department with the hope of providing the Black and Brown community an ally on the right side of justice. But instead, he became a pawn of the NYPD and FBI. Ray’s letter is fully explained, along with verified timelines, in a new book, The Ray Wood Story. Proceeds from the NFT of Ray’s letter, available on Friday, May 28, 2021, will go towards a scholarship encouraging individuals with an interest in civil rights and equality to receive higher education on proper police conduct and criminal justice. With this scholarship, I hope we can help move the fight for justice closer towards law enforcement reform and help bring an end to police brutality against our communities.”