McSilver Awards to Honor 6 Vanguards for Social Justice on June 10th

PUBLISHED ON May 29, 2019


Contact: Sheryl Huggins Salomon,

Meek Mill, Malcolm Jenkins, Yamiche Alcindor, Jose Antonio Vargas, Sayu Bhojwani, and Reshma Saujani will accept awards.

photos of Meek Mill, Malcolm Jenkins, Yamiche Alcindor, Jose Antonio Vargas, Sayu Bhojwani, and Reshma Saujani

(NEW YORK—May 29, 2019) The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU) will hold its seventh annual McSilver Awards on June 10, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. EDT, at the Rosenthal Pavilion atop NYU’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South in Manhattan, New York City. Each year, we recognize several Vanguards for Social Justice who are prominent in their fields and unafraid to use their platforms to help create a more equitable and just world.

“These individuals exemplify McSilver’s focus on addressing and disrupting inequity,” says Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Executive Director of the McSilver Institute. “Meek Mill and Malcolm Jenkins are pushing the conversation forward around justice reform and policing. Sayu Bhojwani and Jose Antonio Vargas use their voices and talents to empower immigrants within American life. Yamiche Alcindor’s fearless coverage of the White House shows us how vital the press are to a healthy democracy, while Reshma Saujani arms girls with the knowledge to claim their place in a technology-powered world. We look forward to recognizing them for their contributions.”

Our 2019 honorees include:

  • Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent of PBS NewsHour and Political Contributor, NBC News and MSNBC. She says, “Receiving this award is amazing.  The other honorees who are also receiving this award are people who are really seeking to change the world for the better and I am excited to be in their company.”    
  • Sayu Bhojwani, Founder and President of New American Leaders and Former Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for New York City. She says, “An award like this is a reminder to our communities that bringing new voices to American government matters. It’s especially important at a time when the work that we do is so critical, and yet so challenged.”
  • Malcolm Jenkins, Safety for the Philadelphia Eagles and Co-Founder of the Players Coalition. He says, “It's an honor to receive the McSilver Award for my work in criminal justice. There's still so much work to be done. It is my hope that people see the real human cost of our criminal justice system and dig deeper within themselves to pick up the mantle.”
  • Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and Former Deputy Public Advocate for New York City. She says, “This honor belongs to each and every one of the girls we serve at Girls Who Code. It is for every girl who will change the world through code, who is committed to creating change in her community. ”
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder of Define American and Producer of the Tony-nominated play What the Constitution Means to Me. He says, “This award recognizes that we are historical moment that is asking us to fully face our own history and realize that you can't separate the 43 million immigrants that live in America — 11 million undocumented — from who and what we are as a people. I'm thankful that my efforts to foster a conversation about how we define 'American' are being recognized in that context. ”
  • Robert “Meek Mill” Williams, multiplatinum hip-hop artist and Founding Partner and Co-Chair of The Reform Alliance. He says, “I’m honored by this recognition. When I was released from prison last year, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak up for the voiceless and fight for criminal justice reform. Change will take time, but me and my team at the REFORM Alliance are committed to making a real difference and fixing a broken justice system.”

Also joining the program to introduce our 2019 honorees are the following past honorees and luminaries: Erica Ford, CEO and Founder of LIFE Camp Inc.; Maria Hinojosa, Founder of Futuro Media Group; Ana Oliveira, president and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation; Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Chief Operating Officer of the McSilver Institute; and Dr. Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, FAQ NYC Co-host, MSNBC Contributor and the 2018 McSilver Fellow-in-Residence.

More information about the honorees and purchasing tickets is at

For media inquiries, contact Sheryl Huggins Salomon at



The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University is committed to creating new knowledge about the root causes of poverty, developing evidence-based interventions to address its consequences, and rapidly translating research findings into action through policy and best practices. Each year it holds the McSilver Awards, recognizing extraordinary leaders transforming systems to tackle structural poverty and oppression. Learn more at and sign up for updates.