Lasting Impact: An Andrew Goodman Alumni Q&A With Chandler Nutall, Spelman College
Chandler Nutall is currently a Fellow with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs – New York City. In 2023, she graduated Co-Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Spelman College. Before beginning her matriculation at Spelman, she earned an Associate of Arts degree while in high school from The George Washington University in 2019 through a dual-enrollment program. At Spelman, Chandler was an Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Scholar, the President of the Student Government Association, a Social Justice Fellow, and an Andrew Goodman Ambassador. She is a 2022 Truman Finalist, 2022 Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow, and a 2021 White House HBCU Scholar. Chandler is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Tell us about your experience as an Andrew Goodman Ambassador. Was there a campaign you championed as an Ambassador that you are particularly proud of?
During my two years as an Andrew Goodman Ambassador, I championed three major initiatives along with my fellow Campus Ambassador. We collaborated with student organizations to coordinate an on-campus candidate forum for students to hear from and ask questions to six candidates running in the 2021 Municipal and State-Wide Georgia Elections. We also organized a voter teach-in, where 24 students and faculty members gave presentations on topics related to democracy, elections, and voting. To reach the youngest voters on campus, we regularly attended freshman-level courses as guest speakers to discuss the importance of civic engagement, new Georgia voting laws, overcoming voter fatigue, and forms of activism beyond voting.
What legacy did you leave on campus for future generations of Ambassadors to continue?
I left a legacy of constantly seeking opportunities for partnerships. My work was guided by my belief in the power of collaboration. Consequently, I regularly sought to encourage teamwork among students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators in promoting civic engagement on campus.
As an Ambassador, how did you contribute to creating lasting change and a more democratic culture on your campus?
My priority as an Ambassador was to foster environments that encouraged students to ask questions, seek information, and be civically engaged beyond election season. I believe this contributed to creating a more democratic culture by empowering students to think critically about voting rights in Georgia and to be lifelong informed citizens.
How did your time in the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program impact your development as a leader and community member?
Serving as an Andrew Goodman Ambassador enhanced my leadership abilities by teaching me to be an innovative strategic thinker. Whether it was devising strategies to create excitement around civic participation or finding ways to collaborate with student organizations, I always had to think outside the box. I developed a willingness to explore uncharted territories and take risks. Obstacles became opportunities.
Tell us about what you’re doing today. How did your time as an Ambassador inform your continuing education, work, or volunteerism?
Being an Andrew Goodman Ambassador showed me many different forms of social justice and advocacy work that I had not been previously exposed to. As a result, I wanted to pursue a post-graduate program that would allow me to continue learning diverse ways that I could apply my social justice interests to my career. I do this as a Fellow with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs – New York City.
As an Alumni of our program, how are you continuing to reflect on our story and to carry forward the Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner legacy today?
As a young professional, the legacy of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner inspires me to reflect on how I can best give of myself to a career that improves our society for the better. Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner, and countless others made the ultimate sacrifice to make this country more fair and just. It is my responsibility to honor them by refining my skills and acquiring knowledge to play my part in creating the world they envisioned.
What advice would you give to our current Ambassadors?
I encourage current Ambassadors to remember that the best work is not done by one person alone. Protecting something as critical as voting rights and democracy is truly a group effort. Seek out mentors you can learn from and people you can collaborate with to maximize your efficiency and success. Above all, ask for help when you need it. There will always be like-minded people ready to lend a hand.
Stay tuned as we continue our Lasting Impact series, featuring alumni of our Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program, what they’re doing today, and how they are still living the legacy.