The Andrew Goodman Foundation to Honor Five “Hidden Heroes” for Their Commitment to Protecting and Expanding Democracy in Their Communities
On Saturday, June 22 at 7:15 p.m., The Andrew Goodman Foundation will recognize five young campus leaders from around the country for their dedication to ensuring their fellow college students have access to polling places and voter registration services. The “Hidden Heroes” awards ceremony will take place at Montclair State University and will feature a video address from Stacey Abrams, 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate and founder of Fair Fight Action, an organization whose mission is to advocate for election reform and engage in voter education and turnout to secure the voting rights of Georgians.
The Hidden Heroes Award honors The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s outstanding Vote Everywhere Ambassadors and Puffin Democracy Fellows for demonstrating a commitment to continuing Andrew Goodman’s legacy of expanding civic engagement and defending democracy in their communities. More than 100 of these civic leaders from around the country were considered for the award. Vote Everywhere Ambassadors are college students from schools around the country who lead voter campus registration drives, Get Out the Vote efforts, and remove the barriers that student voters face. The Puffin Democracy Fellows, the Foundation’s newest leadership program, work on innovative and impactful projects to expand voting rights and social justice in their local communities and nationally.
“This year’s Hidden Heroes award ceremony comes at an important time in our country’s history as more states push to restrict voter registration efforts. These extraordinary young leaders, along with all of our Vote Everywhere Ambassadors and Puffin Democracy Fellows, are standing at the front lines of these battles,” says Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, the Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “We are in awe of their dedication and fearlessness in the face of these efforts and we couldn’t be more honored to recognize these outstanding young people.”
The awards ceremony will take place during the Foundation’s fifth annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit where students from 59 campuses around the country meet to train and prepare Vote Everywhere Ambassadors for the upcoming school year. The event will feature workshops and lectures with staff, alumni, and expert speakers. The Summit will also commemorate the 55th anniversary of Andrew Goodman’s murder by the KKK in Mississippi while registering African Americans to vote.
2019 Hidden Heroes
Jacqueline Beveridge, Georgetown University ’19
Jacqueline Beveridge graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she received a Bachelor’s in International Politics with a concentration in International Security and a certificate in Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. She first became a member of GU Votes, a student-led initiative working to enhance the voting culture on campus, in 2016 and was promoted to Co-President of the organization her senior year. Under her leadership, GU Votes created and institutionalized a voter registration drop box system available in all on-campus residence halls, successfully piloted new technology like my.VoteEverywhere on National Voter Registration Day and in New Student Orientation, and assisted over one-third of the Georgetown undergraduate population with voter registration and absentee-ballot requests. Following Georgetown, Jacqueline will be pursuing a Master’s in International Crimes, Conflict, and Criminology in Amsterdam and then attending law school.
Yark Beyan, Stony Brook University ’19
Yark Beyan graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. After joining Vote Everywhere in 2017, she helped successfully institutionalize voter registration into New Student Orientation at Stony Brook University. That year, 2,008 first-year-students were registered to vote over the course of just 13 days. Under her leadership, her team has registered over 8,000 Stony Brook students, including 2,733 students prior to the 2018 Midterm Elections. Additionally, she was one of four students who served on the University President’s Council of Student Advisors and helped to found the University’s new Center for Civic Justice. Yark has been awarded the University’s first-ever Excellence in Civic Leadership Award, now named the Yark Beyan Excellence in Civic Leadership Award.
Rebecca Diaz, Miami Dade College – Wolfson ’19
Rebecca Diaz is a graduate of the Honors College at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. She previously served as Secretary for the college’s Student Government Association. As a Vote Everywhere Ambassador, Rebecca attended a city budget hearing prior to the 2018 Midterm Elections and, alongside a coalition of students, delivered a compelling speech to the County Commission, which successfully advocated for the addition of two early voting sites at Miami Dade College. As a result, nearly 11,000 people were able to take advantage of the early voting sites on Kendall and North’s campuses.
Ava Mazzye, Bard College ‘20
Ava Mazzye is a B.A candidate at Bard College where she studies Political Studies. She currently serves as a member of the Fiscal Committee in student government and as a Lead Peer Counselor. In the Fall 2018 semester, Ava and her team registered over 400 students to vote, hosted 26 events, and engaged over 550 people on Election Day with shuttles, educational materials, and a results return watch party. Ava also helped to inform her community around polling place accessibility issues, continued dialogues about a polling place relocation effort, and even advocated in the community on behalf of legislation that aims to require polling places on campus in New York.
Zoë Williamson, Louisiana State University ’19
Zoë Williamson studied Political Communications at Louisiana State University (LSU) with a minor in Political Science. She served as a Governor’s Fellow in Louisiana Government and worked in the Governor of Louisiana’s communication office. She also previously served as LSU Student Government’s Director of Communications. As a Vote Everywhere Ambassador, Zoë helped lead Geaux Vote in expanding the organization’s structure, social media presence, and cadre of volunteers; integrating voter registration into everyday student life and registering 2,500 students to vote; and creating one centralized polling place on LSU’s campus to make casting a ballot more accessible for all of LSU’s students.
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 young leaders, engaging low-propensity 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 Freedom Summer volunteer and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered by the KKK in 1964 at 20 years old while registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.