On #GivingTuesday, why do you give?
The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s supporters make amazing things happen. This year alone, they have helped us increase the reach of Vote Everywhere, launch new digital resources, and raise youth voting rates nationwide.
This year, for #GivingTuesday, we wanted to know why! We asked our supporters why they care, and here’s what we learned:
Nick Doran, a Vote Everywhere Alumnus from Binghamton University, pledges his ongoing support as a monthly donor to help current Ambassadors achieve their goals of making voting easier and more accessible. “When I was at Binghamton University as a VE Ambassador, we focused on building infrastructure of our voter registration program. We implemented voter registration at new student orientation and had a biannual dorm competition to register the most voters. One of our biggest accomplishments was working with our county Board of Elections to redistrict the campus polling places alphabetically to make it easier for students to vote. I chose to give back and become a monthly donor because I believe engaging young people is critical to the health of our democracy. I think what makes AGF unique and effective is how it puts young people on the front lines to engage with their peers in the democratic process. I am proud to be an AGF alumnus, and giving back each month is just one way I can help continue this fight for our democracy because every small bit helps VE Ambassadors achieve their goals.”
Michelle Freeman, an economist from Maryland, became a supporter last year to honor Andrew Goodman’s sacrifice. “I donate to The Andrew Goodman Foundation because they are committed to promoting active civic engagement, eradicating social injustice, and increasing voting accessibility. My maternal grandfather shared Andy, James, and Michael’s story with me when I was in elementary school. Forty-plus years later, I’ve never forgotten their courage, their activism, and their choice to move from their comfort zone to affect change for future generations. They gave the ultimate sacrifice so that I could one day vote. Andy’s legacy made an indelible impression upon my soul and continues to inspire me to be a better person.”
James Burke, a monthly donor from Oregon, supports The AGF to continue the legacy of one of his childhood heroes: “Andy has been a hero of mine ever since I first read about him when I was in the fourth grade. I proudly support the AGF because I believe their vital work in voter education and registration best honors Andy’s legacy.”
Bernice Sims, the author of Detour before Midnight, was one of the last people to see Andrew Goodman alive. She got involved in the fight for voting rights after experiencing Jim Crow firsthand, and she supports The Andrew Goodman Foundation to continue the fight for equality: “Growing up in the Mississippi during the Jim Crow South, I became acutely aware of how segregation impacted my life. Relegated to sitting in the colored section on public transportation, waiting rooms, drinking at segregated water fountains was the norm. I was unable to find respite at a hotel when weary worn from the road or sit a restaurant and enjoy a meal. The alternative was to go to the back and settle for a greasy take-out. These dehumanizing conditions designed to make me feel like a second class citizen, inspired me to rebel against these assaults.
I discovered that I needed a voice, so I joined with others willing to fight against these blatant attacks upon our human spirit through non-violent protests. We were without power. I discovered that without the vote, we had no voice. I got involved in voter registration campaigns before I was able to vote. On June 21, 1964, three young men, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman left my home in Meridian, Mississippi en route to Neshoba County and never returned. They were going to inspect the charred remains of a building that was used for voter registration for disenfranchised black citizens. They were murdered by the Mississippi Ku Klux Klan with assistance from the local police. They died for others to have the right to vote. The Andrew Goodman Foundation continues the spirit of these fallen heroes. I support their efforts to enfranchise and educate young people in the electoral process.”
About the Author
Emily Curran is the Communications and Development Manager of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. Emily holds a Ph.D. in History and Culture from Drew University, where she focused on twentieth-century American cultural history, culminating in a dissertation entitled, “Natural and Technological Wonders: Embracing Modernity at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.” She received her Bachelor’s degree in History and American Studies from Ramapo College, where she now teaches as an adjunct professor. Prior to joining AGF, she worked as the Visitor Services Coordinator at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, and she remains an active volunteer with the museum.