The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Statement On Nationwide Demonstrations On College And University Campuses

Across the nation — including on Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Campuses — students, faculty, and local community members are making their voices heard.

The Andrew Goodman Foundation supports students, faculty, and other campus members’ right to freedom of speech and to engage peacefully with the pressing issues of our time. Students and faculty — especially on the campuses where they teach, learn, live, work, and vote — should never face discrimination or fear of violence. We do not endorse any form of speech which includes racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, or any other forms of hate speech. Hate speech is never acceptable and should be condemned by the community at-large on any college campus, which are places of learning, free inquiry, study, and reasoned debate.

Throughout the history of the United States, students and young people have been movement leaders. During the Freedom Summer of 1964, Andrew Goodman, a young student at Queens College in New York traveled to Mississippi to use his voice and champion a cause he believed in: registering Black Americans to vote and creating a more just, inclusive, and representative democracy. For doing that, the Ku Klux Klan brutally and tragically murdered Andrew and his peers, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. The violent murder of these three young men was part of a campaign by the KKK and their many sympathizers to use all forms of hate speech to terrorize Black Americans, often resulting in extreme violence and murder.

The voices of young people in the most challenging moments are core to our nation’s and our organization’s legacy stories. Our student Andrew Goodman Ambassadors, as they organize and activate their peers, are engaging in civic life on their campuses and carrying out our mission of making young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy.

College and university campuses must be places of safety and foster environments that allow students to confront complexity by making their voices heard and participating fearlessly in our democracy.