Lauren Nicks, a junior at Spelman College, is active in issues of voting rights and disenfranchisement. As a Social Justice Fellow, John Lewis Scholar, and Andrew Goodman Campus Ambassador, Lauren has hosted events and provided resources to expand voter access and increase political awareness among students on her campus. She has worked closely with nonprofits, such as Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties of Georgia, focusing her efforts on recruiting poll workers, increasing the voter participation rate among HBCU students, and helping oversee redistricting efforts. Lauren is an exceptional servant leader who has a knack for inspiring others to take charge in creating transformative social change in their communities. In addition to her voting rights advocacy, Lauren has demonstrated scholar activism through her research at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on the Black maternal mortality disparity the summer after her freshman year. Through her community activism, Lauren has demonstrated a commitment to engaging in "good trouble" in an effort to see improvements in her community.
Improving political awareness and expanding voter access are two goals I am committed to. I co-founded and currently serve as President of the student organization Atlanta University Center Votes (AUC Votes) with the goal of increasing voter participation and political awareness among HBCU students. In a state where racial discrimination in voting is prevalent, our organization is committed to fighting against disenfranchisement. It was crucial for us to work with other voting rights and civic engagement groups across campus so our efforts would be far-reaching. This collaborative work resulted in Spelman College receiving the 2020 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge award for the highest voter turnout rate among HBCUs. In addition to voting rights advocacy, I worked with a team to address food and housing insecurity among students in my role as co-President of the Spelman Chapter of the National Action Network. I created a website where commuter students could find mutual aid projects to assist them through the school year. The desire to see transformative social change has motivated me to remain active in my community. I will continue to engage in "good trouble" to produce positive changes in the areas of voter access and food and housing justice.