2016 Hidden Hero Awards Commemorate the 52nd Anniversary of Andrew Goodman’s Death

June 21 marks the 52nd anniversary of the day Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi because they believed that all citizens should have the right to vote.

Today, on the anniversary of this American tragedy, The Andrew Goodman Foundation is proud to announce its 2016 Hidden Hero Awards. Hidden Heroes are ordinary people who do something extraordinary. Just like Andrew, James and Michael, this year’s Heroes are young leaders who have taken action to impact voting rights and social justice. Their efforts have created long-lasting change on campuses across the nation through our Vote Everywhere program.

“In giving the 2016 Hidden Hero Awards to our most impactful Ambassadors, we are recognizing young civic leaders who embody the important tradition of the ordinary person taking extraordinary action on behalf of others—the same spark that motivated Andrew Goodman to travel to Mississippi in 1964,” said Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “We are so proud of the work that our Vote Everywhere Ambassadors are doing and could not think of a better way to honor Andy’s legacy on this very important day.”

The Hidden Heroes Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, August 12, 2016 in Rockland County, NY during the annual Vote Everywhere Summer Institute.

The 2016 Hidden Heroes:

Steven Adelson, Stony Brook University ’17
Steven registered over 3,000 students since July 2015 by institutionalizing voter registration as part of his school’s freshmen orientation. He and his Stony Brook team have registered the largest amount of students out of all Vote Everywhere schools.

Allen Coon, University of Mississippi ’18
Allen organized and led an effort to bring down the Mississippi state flag on campus, which prominently featured Confederate iconography. His actions ensured that a symbol of racial hatred and white supremacy would finally cease to thwart student harmony and unity at UMiss.

Nick Doran, Binghamton University ’17
Binghamton University is a campus with multiple legislative districts. To prevent students from having to re-register every time they moved to a different dorm, Nick introduced a system that registered student voters by last name, not location. This eliminated a systemic voting barrier for approximately 17,000 students.

Maydee Martinez, Miami Dade College ’16
Maydee is the co-founder of Democracy YOUnited, an organization dedicated to youth civic engagement in the Miami-Dade area. She has registered over 700 people to vote during her time as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador.

Valencia Richardson, Louisiana State University ’16
Valencia spearheaded and helped pass a legislative bill in Louisiana that will require state-funded institutions of higher learning to issue student IDs that meet all Louisiana voter ID requirements. Thanks to her efforts, voting will now be more accessible for over 139,000 students in her state.