PHOENIX – The Secretary of State’s Office is accepting applications for the 2022 John Lewis Youth Leadership Award, which is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership and passion for social justice and works to improve the quality of life for fellow citizens.
The award seeks to honor the life and extraordinary achievements of the late Congressman John Lewis.
“The John Lewis Youth Leadership Award will highlight the Arizonan who demonstrates their dedication to serving their communities and fighting for lasting change,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said. “This award is available to Americans in every state to highlight the incredible work of young people throughout the country.”
The National Association of Secretaries of State created this award in 2021. Last year’s winner was Ayesha Ahsan. Ayesha served as the Civic Engagement Chair for Arizona State University Changemaker Central and a Campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, where she organized voter registration drives on campus, engaging thousands of students. She also interned for ACLU of Arizona and the Alliance for Justice, which inspired her to write her undergraduate honors thesis on the efforts of police funding on community safety. Her thesis won the 2021 Sanford School Barrett Thesis Award.
Blair Tarman received an honorable mention in 2021 for her work as a member of the Chickasaw Nation serving in Arizona Tribal communities by protecting the right to vote through the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project during her time as a student at Arizona State University Indian Legal Clinic.
Congressman Lewis’ courageous achievements during the Civil Rights Movement and long tenure of public service have inspired and will continue to inspire Americans for generations to come. In 1961, at the age of 21, Lewis was one of the original thirteen Freedom Riders. In 1963, Lewis was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington and was one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized the march. In 1965, Lewis helped lead the Selma-to-Montgomery marches. The first march took place on March 7 at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where unarmed marchers were attacked by state troopers. The event would later become known as “Bloody Sunday” and was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis’ activism at an early age continued throughout his life and he served as a U.S. Congressman for 33 years until he passed away in 2020.
The Office of the Arizona Secretary of State is accepting applications for the John Lewis Youth Leadership Award until Sept. 9, 2022 and the recipient will be announced on Sept. 20, 2022 in celebration of National Voter Registration Day.
- Be 25 years old or younger at the time the award is presented
- Show a meaningful commitment to civil rights issues, including but not limited to voting rights
- Have provided service to a community in Arizona
The online application form is available here: https://bit.ly/3BTGM8X.
Last year’s list of nominees can be found here: http://go.azsos.gov/s6js
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