U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Other Community Leaders Discuss Youth Voting Rights at The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Seventh Annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit Commemorating the 26th Amendment
The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) held its seventh annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit (NCLTS) last Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, featuring remarks from leading policymakers, activists, and students on how their voting rights are being threatened. The virtual event, themed “Rise Up Weekend: We Organize, We Vote, We Lead,” convened AGF’s national network of student voting rights activists to learn about current voting issues and how to organize against voter suppression efforts emerging in states across the country. The 2-day event provided students with training, strategies, and tools needed to advance youth leadership, civic engagement, and voter participation on their college campuses.
Students were given an overview of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the challenges they face in the legislature. The event also included discussions about the 26th Amendment, the youth voting rights landscape, and skills-building sessions related to anti-racism, advocacy, and campus action planning. The summit also commemorated the 57th anniversary of the murders of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, who were killed on June 21st, 1964 by the Ku Klux Klan while registering Black Americans to vote in Mississippi.
Students heard from lawmakers and activists closely involved with advancing voting rights at the legislative and street levels. Speakers include Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes, the co-sponsor of the For the People Act; New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy; United States Senator Amy Klobuchar; former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro; New York Congressman Mondaire Jones; Activist & Social Impact Strategist Jamira Burley; Co-Founder of Run for Something Ross Morales Rocketto; civil rights activist Dave Dennis; actors Danny Glover and John Leguizamo; musicians and civil rights activists Andre Henry and Portugal. The Man; and voting rights journalist and author Ari Berman.
“The stalling of the For the People Act ahead of the Summit reminded us that we have to continue to educate and engage young people by teaching them where the levers of influence lie, and how they can engage their communities to remind them that they have a stake in their democracy. I want to thank all of our speakers for inspiring and reminding our students why staying activated and informed is as important as ever,” remarked Alexandria Harris, Esq., President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “After record voter turnout among young people this past election, and on the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which prohibited age discrimination in voting, students now more than ever have to understand what’s at stake and to find strategies to stay engaged. This Summit allowed students to develop a comprehensive plan for their colleges and universities to ensure every student has access to the ballot.”
“This past year, most students had to contend with the dueling challenges to attending classes remotely and wondering if their vote will be counted during an election. That is why I am honored to be working with The Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassadors to build a plan to ensure our generation’s voices are heard,” remarked Tennessee State University graduate student and Rise Up Host La Toria Lane. “By working together, this movement will create the social infrastructure our generation needs to overcome the obstacles faced at the ballot that are emerging in states nationwide. By staying bold and unified, nothing can stop us.”
The event was made possible by the Puffin Foundation, with support from Bark Media, Bombas, Crooked Media, Film Movement, Manageroo, Patagonia, and Red Bay Coffee. For more information, visit www.RiseUpWeekend.org.
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.