The Andrew Goodman Foundation To Honor Six “Hidden Heroes” For Their Commitment To Campus Civic And Voter Engagement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2022
MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY— The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) will recognize six Hidden Heroes at the Hidden Heroes Award Ceremony on Thursday, August 11th at 7 p.m. EST 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.
The Hidden Heroes Award Ceremony will be held during the eighth annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit, themed Legacy Summer 2022. During this virtual event, Andrew Goodman Ambassadors and young people from partner organizations will gather to hear inspiring panels and participate in training sessions, just as young organizers did ahead of Freedom Summer 1964. To register for Legacy Summer 2022 and the Hidden Heroes Award Ceremony, visit www.LegacySummer2022.org.
“The Andrew Goodman Foundation recognizes the dedication of these six changemakers to our mission, ‘to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy,’ and to the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program. Through the program and beyond, they have demonstrated outstanding commitment to civic engagement, student leadership, and service on their campuses and their surrounding communities. Most importantly, they have shown a passion for civic participation and advocacy that ensures a peaceful, just, and sustainable future. I am continually inspired by the work of our Andrew Goodman Ambassadors and Champions and am honored to recognize our 2022 Hidden Heroes,” says Wambui Gatheru, Director of Programs at The Andrew Goodman Foundation.
The following six changemakers will be awarded at the ceremony on August 11th:
Andrew Goodman Ambassador Honoree
Samadi Tavarez, Pace University
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.
Samadi Tavarez is a student at Pace University, where she majors in Political Science. On campus, Samadi has served as an executive board member for the Political Awareness and Civic Engagement (PACE) club, a non-partisan politically-oriented student organization devoted to engaging the student body in the political process. As an Andrew Goodman Ambassador, Samadi has inspired Pace students to actively engage with their community and learn how to combat social justice issues they care most about, and she is honored to be an Andrew Goodman Ambassador and continue his work towards a just democracy. Samadi was chosen for the 2022 Andrew Goodman Ambassador Honoree Award for her innovative and creative organizing, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and a hybrid campus model. She has worked to expand student voting access on her campus and has recently expanded her Campus Team’s reach by integrating civic organizing and digital engagement strategies.
Andrew Goodman Ambassador of the Year
Christina B. Williams, Clark Atlanta University
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.
Christina B. Williams is a recent Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science. This fall, she will enter Harvard Law School to pursue a J.D. and fulfill her aspirations of utilizing the law as a tool to defend the civil rights and liberties of marginalized communities. Christina is a leader in the student civic engagement and social action space, with extensive experience serving in various elected undergraduate student government positions, as well as founding and presiding over several campus clubs and initiatives, including CAU Votes. Currently, Christina is a Social Impact Fellow at Values Partnerships, the nation’s largest black-owned social impact agency. She has also gained experience through fellowships and internships with several nationally recognized civic organizations and has been referenced by a number of media outlets.
Andrew Goodman Campus Champion of the Year
Dr. Karen M. Kedrowski, Iowa State 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.
Dr. Karen M. Kedrowski is Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University. Under Dr. Kedrowski’s leadership, the culture of civic engagement on Iowa State University’s campus has dramatically improved. She has led her students in voter engagement activities including distributing voter registration forms to residence halls and Greek houses; sharing an updated Canvas voting module, with guidance to faculty; providing information via direct emails to students; publicizing election forums, early voting opportunities, and election day polling locations and hours; and directing out-of-state students to information on their states’ voting laws. Her innovative spirit and passion for social change is seen in the partnership between the Carrie Chapman Catt Center, Department of Political Science, and the Student Innovation Center to sponsor a student “Innovation Sprint: Go Vote 2.0: We are the (Voting) Champions.” Dr. Kedrowski also co-organizes Big 12 Votes, an ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge aimed at creating environments that value civic learning, engage students in thoughtful ways, and remove barriers to participation, so that colleges and universities can graduate students with the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and values needed for responsible and informed engagement in our democracy.
Andrew Goodman Campus Team of the Year
Alabama A&M University
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 Alabama A&M University (AAMU) Campus Team has ensured that the legacy of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Shwerner, and the larger Civil Rights Movement stays at the heart of their work. They have earned this award with their ability to execute the many moving parts of their campus action plan as a team — from voter registration class visits to an effective partnership with Residential Life — while connecting deeply to the local history of Black-led organizing and civic engagement movements.
Monica Clarke is a professor of English Composition and Freshman Orientation; Service-Learning, Volunteer, and Community Service Coordinator; and Chair of the Alabama A&M Civic Engagement Team. In her capacity as Service Learning Coordinator, Monica directs both federal and foundation grants, and is responsible for training and overseeing all service-learning, volunteerism, community service, and civic engagement opportunities and activities campus-wide at Alabama A&M University, including serving as the Andrew Goodman Campus Champion.
Austin Smith is a student at Alabama A&M University studying Civil Engineering. He is a scholar in AAMU’s Honors Program and is striving to become a leader on campus through service with plans on attending law school. He is honored to be an Andrew Goodman Ambassador and aims to leave a foundation of democratic engagement for future generations of students.
Amaya Rearden is a recent graduate of Alabama A&M University with a BA in Communications Media with a Concentration in Film & Production and a minor in Political Science. She is a Presidential Scholar and a member of the University’s Honors Program, both which have helped her to develop a passion for civic engagement that she intends to carry into her career. She is thrilled to be an Andrew Goodman Ambassador and is proud to carry on the work and legacy Andrew left behind.
HBCU Service Award
Evan Gross, Prairie View A&M 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 performs special service to the university.
Evan Gross is a recent graduate from Prairie View A&M University with a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies and a minor in Sociology. Her passions include digital media, creative writing, music, and social justice, specifically as it relates to public health, racial equity, and voting rights. In her time as a student, she had the opportunity to work with both The Andrew Goodman Foundation as an Ambassador and Campus Vote Project as a Democracy Fellow, promoting civic engagement and championing student voting rights on her campus. Currently, Evan is preparing to take the LSAT and plans to attend law school in the spring, specializing in education or health law. She looks forward to continuing to work with AGF and supporting other student advocates as an alumna.
Rising Star of the Year
Sam Robson, University of Alabama
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.
Sam Robson is an Andrew Goodman Ambassador at the University of Alabama and a Return My Vote consultant and project assistant. While studying Political Science and Philosophy, Sam spent much of this year applying for and carrying out a grant to establish a voting rights restoration clinic for Alabamans with prior felony convictions. This project exemplifies how to leverage the resources and people power of higher education institutions to make civic engagement more equitable for all, and Sam’s leadership is much like that of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner.
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.