Lasting Impact: An Andrew Goodman Alumni Q&A With Evan Malbrough, Georgia State University
Residing in Atlanta, Evan Malbrough is the Voting Rights Fellow at the ACLU of Georgia. Still an active member of the Andrew Goodman Network, Evan has been involved with The Andrew Goodman Foundation in numerous roles over the past five years. Evan was an Andrew Goodman Ambassador at Georgia State University (GSU) and continued after graduation as part of the 2020-2021 Cohort of Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellows, through which he developed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Building a Youth Poll Worker Project. Evan currently serves as a member of AGF’s Board of Directors.
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?
I championed two campaigns as an Ambassador that not only helped institutionalize democracy on my campus, but also, while I didn’t know it at the time, set me up for my career post-graduation. The first was building Vote.GSU.edu, a voting landing page with TubroVote and other voting resources readily available to GSU students. My second initiative was advocating for the GSU on-campus early voting precinct to be entirely student-staffed in March 2020. This led to my project, focusing on creating poll worker programs, during my Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellowship and the creation of my non-profit organization, the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project.
What legacy did you leave on campus for future generations of Ambassadors to continue?
The legacy I left at Georgia State is Vote.GSU.edu. Now future students can get easy and accurate voting and election information.
As an Ambassador, how did you contribute to creating lasting change and a more democratic culture on your campus?
I believe my work, and the work of the Ambassadors after me, has helped create the infrastructure for students to come to GSU and cut their teeth as organizers. Georgia State is an urban campus in the heart of Georgia, which means new organizers can easily enter the field.
How did your time in the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program impact your development as a leader and community member?
My Ambassadorship with The Andrew Goodman Foundation directly led to my career now. Before joining, I had no intentions of becoming a full-time organizer; in fact, I had no clue who Andrew Goodman was. If not for my Ambassadorship, I would not be here now.
Tell us about what you’re doing today. How did your time as an Ambassador inform your continuing education, work, or volunteerism?
I work full-time as a Voting Rights Fellow at the ACLU of Georgia. I volunteer on the Board of Directors for The Andrew Goodman Foundation and on the Speak Truth to Power Youth Advisory Board for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization.
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?
Through my work post-graduation, I have been able to directly impact youth voter access in my home state. I successfully saved four on-campus voting locations in Fulton County, including the one I worked in as a poll worker at Georgia State University. I am also working to pass a bill that would make all student IDs issued by colleges and universities, whether public or private, acceptable voter IDs in the state.
What advice would you give to our current Ambassadors?
My advice to Ambassadors is never to doubt that fighting for voting rights is worth it. There is a concerted effort in this country to suppress the will of the people, and the only way to protect it is for people like us to step up and do the work in the face of overwhelming opposition.
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.