The Andrew Goodman Foundation Honors Exceptional Vote Everywhere Volunteers in First-Ever Ambassador, Campus Champion, and Chapter of the Year Awards

On Thursday, June 30th, The Andrew Goodman Foundation presented 3 awards to standout members of their Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere campus program. These members have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to upholding and ensuring college students on their campuses are registered, informed, and engaged during election seasons. The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training young leaders, engaging student voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. These inaugural awards were “The Andrew Goodman Ambassador of the Year,” “The Andrew Goodman Campus Champion of the Year,” and “The Andrew Goodman Campus Team of the Year.”

The presentation ceremony took place on Zoom to comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements. The awards ceremony preceded the organization’s sixth annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit themed ”Take Your Power Back Weekend,” a 2-day virtual conference, which took place on August 1st and 2nd, where thousands of college students participated in workshops and lectures with activists, athletes, celebrities, and expert speakers.

“I want to congratulate each of the winners for their extraordinary work over the past year. They have refused to let voter suppression efforts dampen their spirits, even when faced with the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19,” remarked Alexandria Harris, Esq., Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “The Andrew Goodman Foundation is honored to have these leaders as a part of our Vote Everywhere Ambassador program leading registration drives, hosting community information sessions, and Get Out The Vote efforts on their respective campuses. The resolve these honorees have demonstrated shows that democracy is worth fighting for, and follows in the tradition of, our namesake Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and other civil rights leaders. We are in awe of their fearlessness.”

2020 Awards

Andrew Goodman Ambassador of the Year was awarded to Evan Malbrough of Georgia State University. The Ambassador of the Year is an Andrew Goodman Ambassador who demonstrates strong leadership and dedication to nonpartisan, civic engagement. Evan played a vital role in the creation and implementation of innovative projects that led to significant progress in voter engagement on GSU’s campus. Evan displayed a deep dedication to social justice, diversity, and inclusion that activates and mobilizes diverse communities on campus and beyond.

Evan Wayne Malbrough, a native of Smyrna, Georgia, is an honors graduate with a degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University. He was a Research Fellow at the Department of Defense, where he was in the Office of Legal Policy & the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness. Evan was a research assistant in extremist media studies in the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. He analyzes the media of groups such as ISIS, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and Boko Haram. Evan has previously interned for the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Council, and the Office of Congressman David Scott. He is the recipient of the Alonzo F., and Norris B. Herndon human rights scholarship and the PMAP Leadership award has served as the 2017-2018 President of the Young Democrats of Georgia State University, an Amazon Prime Student Ambassador, and a Vote Everywhere Ambassador. Evan was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative where he works on Prison Education reform, which includes working in a writing studio for inmates at Metro Reentry Facility. He is a founding member of Vote Everywhere GSU, an organization that organized the first-ever student-run polling location in the state of Georgia. As a graduate, Evan is the founder of the Georgia Poll Youth Poll Worker Initiative and the founding coordinator of the Georgia Civic Campus Network.

The Andrew Goodman Campus Champion of the Year was awarded to Paul Valdez of Bowling Green State University. Paul created and supported sustainable pathways of engagement between university administration and the student body at large. Nurturing the growth and development of the Ambassadors, Paul uplifted the voices of the Campus Team by using the available resources and networks to accomplish institutional and organizational goals. Leading by example, Paul’s passion for youth voter engagement is palpable and visible in every facet of the work.

Paul Valdez is a 2004 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Paleobiology and a 2007 graduate of Indiana University with a Master’s of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Paul has worked at BGSU in various areas, including Honors College, Campus Activities, and the BGSU Center for Public Impact. Since 2007, Paul has been involved in the Northwest Ohio community serving on the boards of Equality Toledo, Northwest Ohio Community Shares, and U.S. Together. He is originally from Walsenburg, Colorado, but now calls the Old West End of Toledo home.

Andrew Goodman Campus Team of the Year was awarded to the University of Alabama, who showed exemplary synergy in the creation of their Campus Action Plan and execution of their civic engagement goals. The University of Alabama worked together as an unbreakable unit to leverage their personal talents and interests toward the common goal of a more representative democracy. This Campus Team shared a strategic vision for growth and change and an expert ability to motivate and execute large projects as a cohesive unit.

Vote Everywhere UA (VEUA) is a student organization at the University of Alabama that has been operating since 2015 as a partnership between the UA Department of Political Science and The Andrew Goodman Foundation. Since its founding, VEUA has successfully established free election mail for all on-campus residents; helped to lead the initiative for the University’s purchase of TurboVote, a voter registration and civic engagement software; advocated with Alabama officials for greater voter protections before and during the COVID-19 crisis; co-hosted, with Alabama House Democrats, a webinar focused on Student Voting during the COVID-19 pandemic; and registered hundreds of voters.

  • Dr. Richard Fording is the team’s Campus Champion and a professor in the Political Science Department where his teaching and research interests include the politics of poverty, race and politics, voting rights, U.S. social movements, and research methods. Prior to joining the University of Alabama, he was a professor at the University of Kentucky. He has been UA’s Campus Champion since the founding of the chapter in 2015.
  • The 2019-2020 Vote Everywhere UA Team Leader was Ben Leonard, a recent graduate with a degree in political science who, for the next 2 years – before attending law school – will be working in the D.C. office of a global law firm.
  • Shana Oshinskie is a recent graduate who majored in American Studies and Graphic Design. Shana was a VEUA Ambassador from 2017-2020, and now works as a graphic designer at the Center for American Progress.
  • Samuel Reece is the 2020-2021 Team Leader and is currently a senior majoring in Political Science and American Studies. He has been an Ambassador since 2019 and plans to attend law school after graduation.
  • Meredith Saylor is a 2020-2021 Ambassador and a junior majoring in Quantitative Economics and Statistics. She has been an Ambassador since 2019. After graduation, she plans to research and pursue a graduate degree in the field.
  • Alli Swann is a rising junior and 2020-2021 Ambassador majoring in Political Science and English, with plans to attend law school after graduation.

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation 

The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program partners with America’s colleges and universities to provide resources, visibility, and mentoring to a national network of student leaders who involve their peers in participatory democracy through long-term voter engagement, public policy, and social justice initiatives. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a 20-year-old Freedom Summer volunteer, and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered by the KKK in 1964 while registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.