Educational Leadership May 3 2019

XAVIER JOINS VOTE EVERYWHERE CAMPUS NETWORK

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana has joined The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s network of Vote Everywhere campuses aimed to improve voting accessibility while tackling social justice issues.

Xavier is one of 59 colleges and university campuses in 24 states and Washington D.C. to join the network. As a member of the program, the university selected two sophomore political science majors – Jaleel Ross of Broussard, La., and Tia Alexander of New Orleans, La. – to serve as Vote Everywhere student Ambassadors.

The two students will attend the Foundation’s National Civil Leadership Training Summit this summer as well as receive ongoing training and support throughout the year from The Andrew Goodman Foundation. As ambassadors they will seek to motivate their peers to become more actively involved in their communities helping to educate other students about the civic process, by working to register them to vote, and by leading campus-based initiatives addressing social justice and equality. 

Ross applied to become an ambassador in order to promote social change and democratic engagement on campus.

“I heard about the program through a fellow classmate,” said Ross. “Being a political science major and an officer in Xavier’s chapter of College Democrats of Louisiana, I was already interested in increasing voter awareness and community engagement of my peers.”

As an ambassador he envisions jump-starting student voter registration drives, inviting relevant guest speakers to campus, and holding public forums that invite students to discuss pressing local issues.

Alexander was recruited by Ross and Dr. Timothy Glaude, an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Xavier and the Vote Everywhere Campus Champion.

“Simply put, civic engagement is what makes our democracy real and genuine,” said Alexander. “At the end of the day, it is a privilege that we are able to freely vote however we want, even if we don't always see the desired outcome.”

She hopes to partner with the Student Government Association and other campus organizations to hold voter registration drives and sponsor events that shine light on local issues.

“Encouraging civic engagement here on campus will help students become more knowledgeable about what issues impact communities in New Orleans and will give them an opportunity to drive change in those very communities,” she said. “I can’t wait to attend the training and get started.”

“Xavier is excited to join the Vote Everywhere network,” concurred Glaude, “The Xavier team will work towards increasing voter awareness and encouraging civic responsibility through active participation in local elections. Joining the network will allow students to uphold our university’s mission while working in communities as advocates and agents of change.”

About the Andrew Goodman Foundation

The Andrew Goodman Foundation is a national, nonpartisan organization founded in memory of Civil Rights activist Andrew Goodman, who was murdered by the KKK during Freedom Summer in 1964. The organization currently advocates for voting equality and youth leadership through its Vote Everywhere program. Vote Everywhere partners serve to advance campus voting engagement and cultivate leadership among the newest generations of young voters at colleges and universities around the country.

For more information about The Andrew Goodman Foundation program at the Xavier University of Louisiana contact Dr. Timothy Glaude at tglaude@xula.edu

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