The Andrew Goodman Foundation To Honor Six 2023 “Hidden Heroes”
Andrew Goodman Ambassadors will be recognized for their commitment to campus civic and voter engagement in a virtual ceremony
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2023
Margaret Sasser Knehans
NEW YORK, NY—The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) will recognize six Hidden Heroes at the 2023 Hidden Heroes Award and Ambassador Send-Off Ceremony on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET on Zoom. Awardees will be recognized for their commitment to ensuring college students on campuses nationwide are registered, informed, and civically engaged during election seasons and beyond. Following the Award Ceremony, AGF will celebrate 26 Ambassadors graduating in Spring 2023.
“The Andrew Goodman Foundation recognizes the dedication our Ambassadors have had for civic education and action throughout the last year, especially ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections. The record youth voter turnout is a testament to their desire to build a just, sustainable future. I am continually inspired by the fervent enthusiasm displayed for our democracy and I look forward to seeing how youth voters make their voices heard in statewide elections throughout 2023 and, of course, ahead of the 2024 Presidential Election,” says Caroline Smith, Director of Programs at The Andrew Goodman Foundation.
The following six changemakers will be awarded at the ceremony on Thursday, April 27:
Andrew Goodman Ambassador Honoree
Alex Edgar, University of California-Berkeley
This category is awarded to Andrew Goodman Ambassadors who are integral pillars of leadership and service on their Campus Team. These Awardees display a fervent enthusiasm for an inclusive democracy by expanding student voting access on their campus. They help their Campus Team develop innovative civic organizing strategies.
Alex Edgar is a second-year student at the University of California-Berkeley studying Political Science with minors in Public Policy and Education. Alex serves as the Director of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Vote Coalition, Civic Engagement Coordinator for the UC Student Association, and a Voter’s Choice Act Ambassador for the California Secretary of State. He also is the Assistant to the Executive Director at the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, a Criminal Justice Research Intern at the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and an ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Intern.
As Director of the ASUC Vote Coalition, Alex has made strides in breaking down barriers to student voting both on campus and across the state of California. Alex has led his team to approach organizing from various angles: working with orientation and residential staff to incorporate voter information into campus life, meeting with campus administrators to get institutional support for their team, hosting special events like a speaker series with elected officials and their annual VoteChella festival, and creating sign-on letters to engage faculty in their work. He has also reached beyond the UC-Berkeley campus, coordinating efforts with other institutions of higher education across the state, and even working with members of the California State Assembly to support legislation that would benefit all California students.
Andrew Goodman Ambassador of the Year
Lauren Nicks, Spelman College
This category is awarded to an Andrew Goodman Ambassador who demonstrates strong leadership and dedication to nonpartisan civic engagement. The Awardee plays a key role in the creation and implementation of innovative projects that lead to significant progress in voter engagement on their campus. They display a deep dedication to social justice, diversity, and inclusion that activates and mobilizes diverse communities on their campus and beyond.
Lauren Nicks is a third-year International Studies major and Sociology minor. In 2021, she interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia on their Voting Access Project, focusing her efforts on recruiting poll workers, increasing the voter participation rate among HBCU students, and helping oversee redistricting efforts. Lauren also interned at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, researching the Black maternal mortality disparity and how false assumptions about Black pain tolerance have caused the Black maternal mortality rate to continue to climb.
Lauren has been an Andrew Goodman Ambassador for two years. During her matriculation throughout both Spelman College and her Ambassadorship, student voting accessibility was a focal point. Lauren led the Andrew Goodman Campus Team towards introducing first-year students to voting and civic engagement work on campus. The Campus Team was able to combat voter fatigue and educate students on their voting rights through different topics including accessibility, democracy, and Black activism. Her most impactful initiative is to bring awareness to the voter ID issues that exist for students who attend private institutions of higher education in Georgia.
Andrew Goodman Campus Champion of the Year
Bob Frigo, Elon University
This category is awarded to an Andrew Goodman Campus Champion who creates and supports sustainable pathways of engagement between university administration and the student body at large. Nurturing the growth and development of their Ambassadors, the Awardee uplifts the voices of their Campus Team by using their resources and networks to accomplish institutional and organizational goals. They lead by example. Seen in all facets of their work, their passion for youth voter engagement is palpable.
Bob Frigo is the Assistant Dean and Director of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life at Elon University. After graduating from Marquette University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Frigo started his career in higher education in student activities, first as a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a master’s degree in Student Personnel Services, and later at the University of Birmingham in England and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. As Assistant Director of the Park Scholarships program at North Carolina State University, Frigo helped administer the merit-based scholarship program and instructed a weekly seminar and enrichment activities for first-year students.
In his nine years as Andrew Goodman Campus Champion at Elon, Bob has contributed a great deal to the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere community and has been a reliable support for his Andrew Goodman Ambassadors. In addition to providing hands-on support and leadership development, he also opens doors for students to expand their organizing on campus and beyond. In the 2022 Midterm Elections, the Elon Campus Team hosted their first ever on-campus early voting site, which was used by over 4,500 students and community members. This effort was possible in large part because of Bob’s long-standing relationship with both the Alamance County Board of Elections and campus administration.
Andrew Goodman Campus Team of the Year
This category is awarded to an Andrew Goodman Campus Team that shows exemplary synergy in the creation of their Campus Action Plan and execution of their civic engagement goals. This Campus Team works together as an unbreakable unit to leverage their personal talents and interests towards the common goal of a more representative democracy. This Campus Team shares a strategic vision for growth and change and an expert ability to motivate and execute large projects as a cohesive unit.
The Pace University Campus Team is a group of talented individuals who have dedicated their experiences to creating a campus culture that prioritizes civic engagement, youth voter engagement, and social justice. The team works collaboratively to identify important issues on their campus and in their surrounding communities and then equips students with the tools and knowledge they need to become active citizens. The Pace Votes team is innovative in the way they approach civic engagement. While the Pace University team has accomplished many institutional victories, they remain dedicated to the peer-to-peer organizing that has become a trademark of their efforts. This team thinks outside of just their campus sphere of influence; during the 2022 Midterm Elections, the Pace University Campus Team dedicated their time to contacting voters in Texas to ensure they had a plan to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
Erin Mysogland is the Assistant Director of the Center for Community Action and Research and an Adjunct Lecturer of Peace and Justice Studies and History at Pace University, where she also serves as the Andrew Goodman Campus Champion. Throughout her many roles she is an advocate and supporter of students, civic engagement, and social justice.
Hayley Piazza is a second-year student at Pace University majoring in Health Science on a pre-physician assistant track. As a STEM major, one of Hayley’s goals during her time as an Andrew Goodman Ambassador is to motivate her fellow STEM and pre-health majors to be civically engaged. Hayley continues to exceed her goal by integrating robust civic engagement opportunities into the health science student experience for her peers.
At Pace, Lauren Shelton is majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. She hopes to complete a combined degree with the Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law. Lauren brings her passion and creativity to the Pace Votes team by engaging students and community members with social media posts that provide civic and voter education in a fun and exciting manner.
HBCU Service Award
Janiah Henry, Clark Atlanta University
This category is awarded to an Andrew Goodman Ambassador within the Foundation’s HBCU Cohort who shows exemplary leadership and involvement in the cohort. The student makes a significant contribution to a major project or operation on campus and special service to the university.
Janiah Henry is majoring in Political Science. Her highest aspirations are to be a District Attorney and later a woman of the U.S. Congress. Her experience as a Black American woman with racial microaggressions, classroom neglect, voter suppression, and witnessing poverty and the school-to-prison pipeline sparked her interest in serving her community through law. In high school, Janiah served as a member and ambassador of a civic engagement girls empowerment group, New Vision MSK. With New Vision MSK Janiah worked to increase voting rights, voter registration, and voter turnout during election season. Janiah also served as a head intern on the first Black American woman District Attorney-Elect Anita Howard’s campaign team and as a campaign administrator for Elizabeth Johnson’s Congressional Campaign.
Janiah Henry has been an Andrew Goodman Ambassador for two years. As a campus leader and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated she has had a significant impact on voting at Clark Atlanta University. Janiah has used the intersection of her sorority and AGF to maintain her commitment to serving her community by helping to register students in the AUC and the people of the surrounding community to vote. A highlight for Janiah this past academic year was registering 500 students on National Voter Registration Day and a special interview on MSNBC.
Rising Star of the Year
Hannah Williams, Kutztown University
This category is awarded to an Andrew Goodman Ambassador who is a first- or second-year student and exhibits the qualities of an Ambassador Honoree.
Hannah Williams is an Ambassador at Kutztown University, who is majoring in Political Science with Paralegal Studies and minoring in Sociology. They plan to work as a paralegal in the field of environmental law. Hannah is passionate about civil rights, environmental protection, and LGBTQ rights, and hopes to encourage students to vote intentionally and effectively.
Hannah has been a dedicated Ambassador for two semesters, hitting the ground running upon joining the Andrew Goodman Network ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections. Bringing an unending enthusiasm for community organizing to each project, Hannah has flawlessly executed numerous engaging events on campus at Kutztown University. This year, Hannah joined Mo Banks, host of The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Live The Legacy Podcast to record Season 3, Episode 5 in which they offered a no-nonsense approach on why young voters are turning out in record numbers.
To attend the virtual ceremony on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET, 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 organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a Freedom Summer volunteer and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered, alongside James Earl Chaney and Michael Schwerner, by the KKK in 1964 while registering Black Americans to vote in Mississippi. To learn more, visit www.andrewgoodman.org.