In honor of Perry Rosenstein’s legacy of creating lasting progressive change and with the generous support of the Puffin Foundation, The Andrew Goodman Foundation is cultivating the next generation of civil rights leaders. Through the Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellowship, Andrew Goodman Fellows undertake high-impact projects on a local and regional level that address civic issues like voter suppression to advance political and social equity among young people in the United States.
Andrew Goodman Fellows
States Served + Washington D.C.
The Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellowship Is Creating Lasting Progressive Change By:
Addressing the Issues
Andrew Goodman Fellows develop actionable public policy advocacy projects focused on addressing civic policy, voting rights, or social justice issues at the local, state, or regional level. Each Andrew Goodman Fellow chooses an issue that would help expand political and social equity in the United States and develops a plan that is high civic impact, well-informed, ethically crafted, and feasible.
Developing the Leaders of Today
Oftentimes young people are seen as the leaders of tomorrow, but at The Andrew Goodman Foundation, we believe they are the leaders of today. Andrew Goodman Fellows are emerging civic leaders who are passionate about public policy and community organizing. As a part of the two-year fellowship, Andrew Goodman Fellows receive ongoing training and advising on problem-solving, strategic planning, and implementation, developing them into life-long civic leaders.
Building and Sharing Success
Andrew Goodman Fellows work to create tangible solutions to the issue of their choice. Fellows are supported to develop partnerships with individuals and organizations where appropriate to create the most robust, effective, and community-centered plans possible. To ensure their success, Andrew Goodman Fellows quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate their effectiveness and publish their findings and recommendations to help others get involved.
Meet the Fellows
Made up of exceptional young leaders from around the country, Andrew Goodman Fellows work on projects that yield high-impact results.
Anna Del Castillo graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2018 from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations and Colonialism Studies. At Tufts, she served as the Student Body Vice President, the Senior Baccalaureate Speaker, and the lead Campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Program. She is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity as a Dean’s Fellow at Harvard Divinity School where she studies at the intersection of politics, spirituality, and social justice. On-campus, Anna is a Proctor for first-year students and serves as the Divinity School Representative on the Harvard Graduate Council. She is a member of Harvard’s Prison Education Program, working with incarcerated students through Partaker’s College Behind Bars. As a Harvard Presidential Public Service fellow, she researched and helped launch a Movement Chaplaincy Curriculum with the Faith Matters Network. Anna Currently works for IGNITE National, the nation’s largest political organization for young women, as the Boston Fellow. Anna is a proud Mississippian, second-generation Peruvian-Bolivian immigrant, and faith-rooted activist for justice. She intends to use this fellowship and other opportunities to bridge the gap between the world as it is and the world as it ought to be.
Eva Quinones is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at Yale University, where she studies the political economy of voting behavior and democratic backslides. She also holds an M.A. from Yale (Political Science, ‘19), and a B.A. from Bard College (Economics & International Studies, ‘17), where she was a Vote Everywhere Ambassador and Team Leader for three semesters and worked with the Election@Bard initiative to combat student disenfranchisement for three years. In addition to her academic pursuits, Eva has worked for several political campaigns. To learn more about her work or read her publications, visit: https://politicalscience.yale.edu/people/eva-quinones
Evan Wayne Malbrough, a native of Smyrna, Georgia, is an honors graduate with a degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University. He was a Research Fellow at the Department of Defense, where he was in the Office of Legal Policy & the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness. Evan was a research assistant in extremist media studies in the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. He analyzes the media of groups such as ISIS, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and Boko Haram. Evan has previously interned for the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Council, and the Office of Congressman David Scott. He is the recipient of the Alonzo F., and Norris B. Herndon human rights scholarship, and the PMAP Leadership award has served as the 2017-2018 President of the Young Democrats of Georgia State University, an Amazon Prime Student Ambassador, and a Vote Everywhere Ambassador. Evan was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative where he works on Prison Education reform, which includes working in a writing studio for inmates at Metro Reentry Facility. He is a founding member of Vote Everywhere GSU, an organization that organized the first-ever student-run polling location in the state of Georgia. As a graduate, Evan is the founder of the Georgia Poll Youth Poll Worker Initiative and the founding coordinator of the Georgia Civic Campus Network.
Building a Youth Poll Worker Project
The unprecedented national shortage in poll workers makes it all the more urgent that we create entry points for all eligible individuals, especially young people, to serve as poll workers in every election, from local to federal. Young poll workers not only have the power to make polling locations more representative and equitable for other young voters, but also to advance new polling technology.
The Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project, founded by Evan Malbrough, recruits college students to become poll workers and signed up and trained 1,000 youth poll workers in Metro Atlanta for the 2020 election. The movement organizes colleges and universities, youth groups, and local governments and leverages social media and local and national partnerships to recruit young poll workers. Building a Youth Poll Worker Project captures how to replicate that success.
Skylar is a 23-year-old journalist based in Washington D.C. who uses her foundation in Black Feminist Thought and civic organizing to inform her perspective as a writer and commentator. Working at CNN, she redirects what she previously used as a college student, Spelman College Social Justice Fellow, and Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador to seek and tell stories of marginalized communities. She is particularly interested in issues of health equity, housing access, and voting protections within Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities. Skylar is driven by the belief that our stories signal the sociopolitical agenda that determines which groups receive access to resources and vessels of power.
You can follow her work via twitter at @skylarmitch
Usjid Hameed works as the Public Affairs Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Columbus, Ohio Chapter (CAIR-Columbus) where he is tasked with advocating for American-Muslims, monitoring legislation, conducting outreach, organizing civic engagement activities with the Central Ohio American-Muslim community, and much more. Usjid was born in York, Pennsylvania and raised in Baltimore County, Maryland. His passion for service was kindled at a young age thanks to his parents, Pakistani immigrants, frequently drawing attention to his many privileges, such as growing up in a two-parent home in America. Usjid credits the public school system in Baltimore County for providing him with a profound interest in history and government. Usjid attended Towson University for his undergraduate studies where he served as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador for The Andrew Goodman Foundation and as an editor for the Towson University Journal of International Affairs. In addition, Usjid was the field director for a state delegate campaign during the 2014 election cycle and interned in Congressman John Delaney’s (MD-06) D.C. office. In his junior year, Usjid was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for his Summer 2016 study abroad experience in Jordan. He graduated from Towson University with honors in May 2017 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and was the Spring 2017 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker for the College of Liberal Arts. Upon graduating, Usjid moved to Columbus in June 2017 to begin work with CAIR.
Expanding the Ballot: Providing Election Assistance to Non-Native English Speakers
Central Ohio is an incredibly diverse region. The city of Columbus alone is home to the country’s largest Bhutanese population, 2nd largest Somali population and 8th largest Arab population. Given this diversity, it is necessary that voters of these populations be given the necessary support to participate fully in the democratic process. Unfortunately, the Franklin County Board of Elections currently has no formal mechanisms in place to assist these non-native speakers on election day.
Expanding the Ballot utilizes on-site and off-site interpreters to ensure that voters who are not proficient in English have the resources necessary to cast their ballot. Through this multi-pronged approach, thousands of voters will more easily be able to be active citizens and have their voice heard.
Maydee Martinez is a graduate of Miami Dade College in Florida, where she studied Political Science. During her time at MDC, Maydee served as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador for The Andrew Goodman Foundation. In 2015, Maydee founded Democracy YOUnited, an educational program that focuses on voter registration, education, and engagement. She also helped found Engage Miami, a non-profit organization with the goal of changing the culture of politics in her hometown of Miami, Florida. Maydee is a 2016 Newman Civic Fellow and recipient of The Andrew Goodman Foundation's 2016 Hidden Hero award for her outstanding achievement as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador. Maydee is currently a junior at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., majoring in Sociology with a minor in Government.
Democracy YOUnited: Revamping Civic Education
Currently, many civic education curriculums around the country do not include class lectures on how local government is structured, and why local representation is important. This leaves the next generations of voters without access to knowledge that would help them understand how their localities and states function- from who is making decisions on their school boards to who represents their interests at the state level. Without this knowledge, many students face barriers to becoming informed, active citizens.
The Democracy YOUnited project will collaborate with students, teachers, parents, and school board members to create a curriculum that is interesting, informative, and inclusive. The goal of Democracy YOUnited is to help students of all ages understand that the power of local government is within their reach.
Megan Newsome obtained a B.S. in Astrophysics from the University of Florida in 2017, where she also spent three years as The Andrew Goodman Foundation's Vote Everywhere Team Leader. Her Vote Everywhere team's accomplishments included registering over 2,000 students to vote, providing shuttles to early voting locations, and publicizing voting accessibility issues via local media. Her goal as a Puffin Democracy Fellow is to see Florida lead the South in taking down voting barriers by advocating for college campuses to serve as early voting locations, improving transportation networks to and from polling sites, and strengthening comprehensive civics education. Her work aims to prioritize science and evidence in policy-making. On a clear night, though, don't be surprised if Megan can't be reached - sometimes she just needs a little space. (Get it?)
STEMocracy: Bridging Civics and Science
Data shows that college students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields vote at lower rates than their peers. At the same time, phrases like “evidence-based” have become controversial in political circles, and legislators, like Governor Rick Scott of Florida, have refused to discuss the gravity of scientifically-backed issues, such as climate change.
This is why we are launching STEMocracy- to ensure science is accounted for in legislation by bringing the ballot to tomorrow’s scientists. By thoroughly researching STEM students’ low voting rate, we will develop and implement the most effective methods that will transform these students into civic leaders. STEMocracy aims to make facts a priority so that policies are made in the best interest of all Americans.
Valencia Richardson is a recent graduate of Georgetown Law School. She is also a certified Distinguished Communicator, recipient of Upper Division Honors from the LSU Honors College, and a Fulbright Scholar.
Valencia graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana State University in 2016, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Political Communication and a minor in Spanish. In 2014, Valencia became an Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Ambassador at LSU. She also co-founded Geaux Vote LSU, an on-campus student organization aimed at assisting LSU students with registering to vote, voting, and staying up-to-date on upcoming elections. Under her leadership as a Vote Everywhere Team Leader and Geaux Vote LSU President, her team was instrumental in registering hundreds of students to vote, advocating for higher education funding, as well as increasing voter accessibility for college students by leading the charge to change Louisiana’s state law to allow student IDs to become eligible voter IDs.
Valencia continues her research to expand voter accessibility in the South as a Puffin Democracy Fellow. She is also the author of Young and Disaffected, publishing December 2019 by New Degree Press.
A New Southern Strategy for College Voter Engagement
Access to the polls for young people (18-34) is particularly suppressed in the Southeastern United States. We know that voter suppression, through efforts to prevent access to registration and
voting, depresses overall turnout. Studies show that among other barriers, stricter voter ID laws can depress registration and turnout.
In 2016, Louisiana passed an ID law that will help thousands of college students in Louisiana be able to use their student IDs to vote. Now it is time to look ahead into other states to see how legislation can be created to increase accessibility to college students across the South. Beginning in Fall 2018, we will build a movement around increasing accessibility on college campuses. The first step will be voter ID, where we will aim to promote and promulgate a policy that allows students to use their student ID as voter ID, starting with schools already partnering with AGF in the Southeast.
Dana Sweeney grew up reading books, telling stories, and dreaming of the world beyond the salt marshes of southeastern Georgia, where he was raised. With the aid of several generous scholarships, he was eventually able to pack his bags and attend school 423 miles away at The University of Alabama. While there, he studied English and continuously pondered how storytelling and language shape the world we live in (and how they might be used to build the world we'd like to live in, too). Today, Dana works as the statewide organizer for the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, where he continues to spend most of his time listening to peoples' stories and thinking up ways to connect and empower those storytellers as change agents. After serving as The Andrew Goodman Foundation's first Vote Everywhere Ambassador at The University of Alabama, Dana is so excited to continue growing with The AGF as a Puffin Democracy Fellow, and he cannot wait to bring new training, resources, and insights to his work in the Deep South.
The Rural Restoration Project
More than 286,000 Alabamians have had their voting rights stripped away through felony disenfranchisement—a figure that includes nearly 8% of Alabama's total voting-age population and over 15% of all black men in the state. A law passed in 2017 effectively restored the right to register to vote for many of these citizens, but the state of Alabama has refused to mount any substantial efforts to notify impacted voters that they may now reclaim their voting rights.
The Rural Restoration Project is building grassroots capacity to reach and register these impacted voters. We are focusing on rural communities that may be overlooked by other voting rights restoration efforts to build public understanding of the new law, as well as providing step-by-step training and resources that empower local residents to lead voting rights restoration work in their own communities.