The AGF Hosts Conference for Student Voting Leaders on 50th Anniversary of VRA


Clarence B. Jones, former advisor and speechwriter to Dr. Martin Luther King, to participate as Civil Rights Legend in Residence

New York, NY — On August 6th in Chestnut Ridge, NY, Ambassadors for The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program, a college-based student leadership and civic engagement program, will gather for a 3-day conference focused on movement-building strategies for social change. The Ambassadors represent colleges and universities across the country, where they register peers to vote, engage in non-partisan political organizing and actively fight to bring down barriers to voting.

“This academic year, we have 63 Ambassadors from 23 schools in 13 states,” said SYLVIA GOLBIN-GOODMAN, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “These students will create and lead a community of change agents who are serious about their responsibility as citizens, just as Andy was in 1964. Andy Goodman and the Freedom Summer volunteers fought for voting equality to strengthen our democracy; recent challenges in North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and elsewhere reveal that the struggle continues.”

The AGF Vote Everywhere National Conference arrives at a historic moment for the nation, as we honor the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. In the spirit of Andrew “Andy” Goodman, who acted to change the injustice and racism that prevented African Americans from voting in the South in 1964, Vote Everywhere Ambassadors are encouraged to take action to solve today’s pressing social justice problems. Voting is the pathway to deeper levels of civic engagement and social action. The Conference is designed to prepare students with the tools to effectively engage their campus communities in social change work.

CLARENCE B. JONES, former advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will serve as The Conference’s “Civil Rights Legend in Residence” and hold a fireside chat during the event to discuss MLK’s strategy and applying his messaging/tactics to 21st century movements. “I look forward to this opportunity to bring the lessons of the past into focus for today’s young change agents,” said Jones.

Vote Everywhere is The AGF’s unique, experiential, nonpartisan program that leverages the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to inspire students nationally to effect positive social change. Through the program, The AGF trains and supports students to be Vote Everywhere Ambassadors at colleges and universities, and acts as a strategic partner to participating schools, advancing and deepening their civic engagement work. During the spring 2015 semester, Ambassadors engaged over 3,000 students with events, protests, meetings, and drives. Their public and private advocacy efforts impacted over 14,000 students and community members.

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation

Andrew Goodman and two of his contemporaries were young adults committed to equality, voting rights and social justice—they died fighting for those very commitments during Freedom Summer 1964. Established to continue Andy’s legacy, The Andrew Goodman Foundation inspires through a story that touches diverse Americans—Jews and Christians, young and old, blacks and whites—and empowers young people to fully participate in the democratic process. Join our journey to inspire more young people to pursue social change work, activate the important lessons of the past, and sustain today’s effective social action: