KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 6, 2021
Considering her dedication to social justice, inclusion and community engagement, it’s no surprise that Kennesaw State University student Madison Potts views her national award from the NAACP as a team accomplishment.
Potts, a senior majoring in political science, was honored as the Youth Activist of the Year as part of the 52nd annual NAACP Image Awards. The president of Kennesaw State’s NAACP student chapter, Potts was recognized for her commitment to voter education and registration.
“It’s an amazing feeling to receive this recognition from an organization that means so much to me,” Potts said. “I am inspired by my peers because many students from our student chapter and other civically engaged organizations on campus put in so much work and effort to make sure that no vote was left behind in this past election season.”
Potts was nominated for the Youth Activist of the Year award by a fellow member of the KSU chapter, and an NAACP committee selected her as the winner. Potts submitted an acceptance speech for a video that the organization shared online leading up to the nationally televised Image Awards ceremony.
Potts joined the NAACP student chapter when she transferred to Kennesaw State in 2018 and developed into a leader, first as vice president and now president. She also serves on the Georgia NAACP Youth and College Division Get Out The Vote Committee and the Student Government Association Minority Student Advisory Board, and is one of 12 Owls chosen for the inaugural cohort of Diversity Student Ambassadors for KSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Under Potts’ leadership, the Kennesaw State NAACP chapter won a national competition to attain the highest number of students who pledged to vote early in the November 2020 election and hosted what the NAACP described as the largest student-led voter education and registration rally in Georgia prior to the 2021 Senate runoff. She also created and led a coalition of student organizations that provided election information and promoted voter registration through a social media campaign and information tables they manned on campus.
“I wanted to make sure students felt that politics and our government are accessible and that this is the time and place for us to be vocal and active in the process,” Potts said. “Young people have to understand that being involved and using our voices is the most powerful tool that we have in this democracy.”
Potts plans to continue her passion for social justice, advocacy and equality into her career. After she graduates in May with her political science degree, a sociology minor and a certificate in diversity and community engagement, she aspires to a role in diversity and inclusion in corporate America.
“There is important work to be done,” Potts said. “It’s crucial that we dismantle systems that aren’t inclusive and fair in order to ensure equality and justice for all. We need to make sure that every voice is heard and that workspaces are culturally diverse, because that is a more accurate reflection of our society as a whole.”
– Paul Floeckher
Photos by Jason Getz
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.