Lasting Impact: An Andrew Goodman Alumni Q&A With Sadia Saba, Bard College

Sadia Saba was an Andrew Goodman Ambassador on the Election@Bard Team for three years, from 2018-2021. During her time as an Ambassador, she helped to plan voter education events and campaigns engaging with 1000+ students, and managed the team’s newsletter and social media accounts. Following her time at Bard College, Sadia has held numerous unique positions, championing for quality education access for impoverished NYC youth, voter rights advocacy, sustainable development, and international human rights.

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 participated in the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere chapter at Bard College since my freshman year, eventually helping to lead it the year after. My experience was incredibly formative of my college experience, especially because during my senior year my peers and I were able to vote on campus for the very first time. Being able to help achieve that alongside my colleagues was a really proud moment.

What legacy did you leave on campus for future generations of Ambassadors to continue?

As a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Dutchess County Board of Elections, my colleagues’ and I’s legacy helped establish a polling place that was ADA accessible and overall safer for our community. It has helped remove barriers to voting for young people, especially first time voters.

As an Ambassador, how did you contribute to creating lasting change and a more democratic culture on your campus?

I wasn’t raised in a culture of voting. My parents, who are immigrants, were hardly ever engaged with when it came to political expression. At Bard, it was important to me that all students, regardless of their backgrounds, feel excited to be a part of democratic culture and I really hope to have contributed to that.

How did your time in the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program impact your development as a leader and community member?

My time in the program really helped me gain confidence. Events and other initiatives were hard work, but it was really worthwhile to be able to connect with the community and those we elect in a meaningful way.

Tell us about what you’re doing today. How did your time as an Ambassador inform your continuing education, work, or volunteerism?

I continued to be in the social justice field, using a lot of the skills I developed as an Ambassador. I do social and digital media communications for Common Justice, a nonprofit that develops solutions to violence that centers those harmed without relying on incarceration.

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 an Alumni, I know that this work does not stop when we end our journeys as an Ambassador. My experiences have equipped me for a lifetime of activism, knowing that all movements against barriers and oppression are aligned with one another. From fighting against systemic racism in the Black Lives Matter movement to the atrocities facing Palestinians, I am inspired by the legacy of courageous activism by those such as Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner. 

What advice would you give to our current Ambassadors?

I would say to listen deeply to the gaps you find in your communities, and to always keep hope while fighting the good fight!

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.