Take Your Power Back Weekend: Session 1, Take Back Your Voice

The Andrew Goodman Foundation held its first annual “Take Your Power Back Weekend” on August 1-2, 2020. The two-day virtual video conference featured musicians, artists, athletes, actors, elected officials, partners, our very own Andrew Goodman Ambassadors, and other influential voices to equip students with the necessary tools to go out and take their power back ahead of the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. The event was divided into four sessions, each focused on a different theme that offered participants their choice of multiple breakouts. Segments featured in Session 1, “Take Back Your Voice,” focused on how to use your skills, artistry, and talents to change the narrative and change the world. Check out the following segments from Session 1 to learn more about how you can educate, advocate, and be safe at the polls!

In this clip, Trevor Moore, a basketball player at an HBCU, talked with Miami Heat Captain and 3x NBA Champion, Udonis Haslem, about using your platform for change. They discuss the responsibility that athletes have to speak out on important issues!

Andrew Goodman Ambassador from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tamia Fowlkes, moderated a panel with Isabel, a student activist with Florida PIRG, and Johnnie Jae, founder of A Tribe Called Geek, on using digital mediums as a form of activism. Watch this clip to learn more about how you can use technology to virtually connect with your peers!

Julio Ayamel, a sophomore and line-backer from James Madison University, interviewed New England Patriots running back, James White, about the work student athletes can do to be active voices in democracy. White discusses unique challenges that student athletes face related to voting—mainly their busy schedules! He advises making a voting plan with teammates, talking to coaches, and doing the work to stay informed. Click the video to learn more about why voting is cool!

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates challenges to student voting. In this video, Dr. Padonda Webb, Assistant Director of Operations at North Carolina A&T State University, and Dr. Micah Griffin, Director of Health Programs at CUNY Kingsborough Community College, offer advice on how students can organize safely for the November 2020 Presidential Election. Dr. Griffin explains, “COVID-19 has shown us that we can’t separate public health outcomes from economic outcomes.” He reminds us that voting is tied to all of the social justice issues happening in the world right now. 

Session 1 of Take Your Power Back Weekend showed us just how impactful our voices can be! Young voters have the power to expand their reach and work in their communities, at home, at their schools, and beyond. Through Take Your Power Back Weekend, we inspired, educated, and empowered!

To play back all of Take Your Power Back Weekend, watch our playlist.

 About The Author

Nicole Jefferson is The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Communications Intern and a student at Yale College where she is majoring in Political Science.