The Andrew Goodman Foundation Joins with National Voting Rights Groups to Host 2020 HBCU Voting Summit ahead of The 2020 Presidential Election

On September 10th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and September 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., The Andrew Goodman Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to increase student voter participation and access to the ballot box, in partnership with Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition will host the inaugural National HBCU Voting Summit featuring over 40 Historically Black Colleges and Universities nationwide. This virtual event will honor the legacy of late Congressman John Lewis, civil rights champion and voting rights advocate. The summit will be hosted by Alabama A&M University and will, for the first time, bring together HBCUs from around the country to plan for an election and prepare students to vote in 2020 and in the future.

“Ensuring that young people of color have full and equal access to the ballot box is crucial, especially in light of the widespread voter suppression efforts taking place across the country,” said Alexandria Harris, Esq., Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “As we continue to witness more and more schemes aimed at disenfranchising college students, particularly Black students, this summit is focused on informing, preparing, and equipping students with the tools they need to exercise their constitutional right to vote. HBCUs are anchor institutions in their communities, and their influence goes beyond their student bodies. Given the ongoing fight for racial justice and equity, this summit also serves to educate and advocate at the intersection of the modern-day lynchings of so many Black people, the global health crisis that disproportionately impacts Black communities, and the current economic depression.”

“Alabama A&M University is delighted to host this inaugural National HBCU Voting Summit. It is imperative that our young people go out and vote to ensure that their voices are heard,” said Alabama A&M University President Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. “America began its great democratic experiment in the late 1700s by granting the right to vote to a narrow subset of society–white male landowners. As barriers to voting began to recede in the ensuing decades, many Southern states erected new ones, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, aimed at keeping the vote out of the hands of African American men. We should vote because many sacrifices, including lives, were made to give us this most important privilege and right. The United States has one of the lowest rates of youth voter turnout in the world. The youth vote has the potential to be extremely influential in this country. Therefore, young people–vote–as if your life depends on it because in the end, it does.”

The voting rate among college students more than doubled from the 2014 to the 2018 federal midterm elections according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University. The goal of the summit is to continue this positive trend and ensure that this voting bloc has the means and accessibility to cast their votes in November.

The summit is funded by a grant through the SLSV Coalition and underwritten by Facebook. It is an extension of AGF’s commitment to supporting students of color and creating infrastructure to support HBCUs and their students. HBCUs who are interested in participating may register here.

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 Black Americans to vote in Mississippi.