McSilver Awards Recap: Vanguards for Social Justice Honored on June 10th

Portraits of all six 2019 McSilver Honorees

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


Contact: Sheryl Huggins Salomon,

(NEW YORK—June 12, 2019) The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU) held its seventh annual McSilver Awards on June 10, 2019 at the Rosenthal Pavilion atop NYU’s Kimmel Center in Manhattan, New York City.

“We are thrilled to be recognizing six individuals who are defining a critical moment in this country — be it about immigration, or using the power of their voices to talk about mental health and social and criminal justice; be it from raising the next leaders in tech to diversifying our ranks in the world of politics or preserving the fourth estate,” said Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Executive Director of the McSilver Institute.

Our 2019 honorees include:

Preview frame of Yamiche Alcindor video clipYamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent of PBS NewsHour and Political Contributor, NBC News and MSNBC. She said, “Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I tend to agree, but I would add that anyone who is looking for some sort of justice needs to be bending that arc constantly.” Watch Video


Preview frame of Sayu BhojwaniSayu Bhojwani, Founder and President of New American Leaders and Former Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for New York City. She said, “It is possible for every one of us to have a piece of the American dream, and that dream grows as more and more of us achieve it.” Watch Video


Preview frame of Reshma Saujani video clipMalcolm Jenkins, Safety for the Philadelphia Eagles and Co-Founder of the Players Coalition. He said, “Whenever we want to talk about poverty, let’s not start in 2019 and try to move forward. Let’s talk about what was lost [in our communities] and what was stolen, and recoup it now.” Watch Video


Preview frame of Malcolm Jenkins video clipReshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and Former Deputy Public Advocate for New York City. “We have way too many leaders who are acting like children and way too many children who are acting like leaders, so I say let’s empower them [our children].” Watch Video


Preview frame of Jose Antonio Vargas video clipJose Antonio Vargas, Founder of Define American and Producer of the Tony-nominated play What the Constitution Means to Me. He said, “I want to use everything I know how to do to talk beyond myself — to try to force all of us to ask harder questions of how this country got to be what it is and where we’re actually going.” Watch Video


Meek Mill video clipRobert “Meek Mill” Williams, multiplatinum hip-hop artist and Founding Partner and Co-Chair of The Reform Alliance. He said, “When I actually got the support my people and people standing up for me in this last situation, I felt like l should dedicate myself to giving that support back.” Watch Video

Also joining the program to introduce our 2019 honorees were 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 McSilver Awards is at

Download the official photo (photo credit: NYU McSilver/DavidPaulOnline). Honoree YouTube videos are linked to next to each quote.

The social media post thread is on Twitter, as well as at #McSilverAwards.

For additional photos, videos or other 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.