Students and organizations committed to engaging and supporting the Barnard community who exemplify the spirit of philosopher and activist Grace Lee Boggs '35 were honored by Student Life at the Barnard Bold dinner reception on March 29 in The Diana Center Event Oval. As Boggs said, "We urgently need to bring to our communities the limitless capacity to love, serve, and create for and with each other."

The following students and organizations were honored for their work.  

Bold Award for Coalition Building

First Generation, Low-Income Partnership (FLIP)


“We feel so lucky to get to work with you, and we are so excited about our continued collaborations! Your work in FLIP represents to us the best aspects of librarianship and is an inspiring example of student activism and mutual aid. With gratitude and warmth, Barnard Library.” — Nominated by Barnard Library staff: Martha Tenney, Kristen Hogan, Meredith Wisner, and Vani Natarajan



Alicia Simba ’19

“Since her first days at Barnard, Alicia Simba has sought to make this campus a welcoming and inclusive space. Her work on campus has focused primarily on addressing the needs of students of color. As a first-year, she began activist work through Extended Barnard Reach-Out (EBRO), calling attention to the need for intersectionality, and also by attending meetings held by President Spar and Dean Hinkson to address how Barnard can be a more safe and welcoming space for students of color following the racially charged events at Mizzou and Yale. In the years following, Alicia Simba has further supported her community by serving as the VP of Policy of SGA, on the executive board of B.O.S.S., and as a tutor for Harlem Lacrosse.” — Nominated by Aneliza Ruiz ’19

“The anti-racist work of Grace Lee Boggs was often dedicated to focusing on struggles facing Black people here in the United States. Alicia, although truly an advocate for anyone, is deeply committed to the community building and support for both Black students at Barnard and in New York City.” — Nominated by Alaya Carr ’19


Angela Beam ’18


“Angela Beam is a S-T-A-R. She is an ambitious, kind, and driven young woman who has dedicated an incredible amount of time to the growth and development of Barnard. From Rep for College Relations to Vice President of Campus Life to President of SGA, Angela has been a consistent positive presence on campus either advocating on behalf of the student body or fostering community through campus-wide events like the Tree Lighting Ceremony. But Angela is not just a student leader; she's an artist, political junkie… and lover of Diana's signature mozz sticks. I cannot think of someone more deserving to be recognized for her time here at Barnard.” — Nominated by Aku Acquaye ’18




Bold Award for Dedication to Intersectional Feminism

Sophia Richards ’18

“With her anti-capitalist magazine, Mythos, Sophia Richards has created a thought-provoking platform for ideologically rigorous and unconventionally glamorous conversations with a diverse community of women. The site explores identity politics, the experience of trans womanhood, the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, body positivity, and so much more. Sophia's subjects thus far (among many others) have included the creator of intersectional feminism herself, Kimberlé Crenshaw; Indian scholar and feminist critic Gayatri Spivak; and Marxist feminist scholar Silvia Federici. Through her ongoing work with Mythos, Sophia dedicates countless amounts of her own time and money to advocacy and consciousness-raising for its own sake—and, in the process, fully embodies the Barnard College spirit.” — Nominated by Olivia Aylmer ’15


Well Woman Peer Educators

“The Well Woman Peer Educators have such an amazing and invaluable impact on this community. They provide information to students about sexual health and wellness, self-care, and all things related to being a student and taking care of yourself. They have actively sought to bring people together through regular programing, office hours, craft night, and a new initiative: Well Said. Specifically, their PoC office hours and Well Said events (peer educator-led conversations) have provided students with the time and space to seek support, discuss issues important to them, and build community... Peer educators work to make Barnard feel a little more like home, and hope to teach and learn from each other and other students along the way.” — Nominated by Aneliza Ruiz ’18


Bold Award for Scholar Activism

Cassidy Mayeda ’18

“Last year, the Athena Digital Design Agency (ADDA) partnered with the Columbia Heyman Center to volunteer to teach two coding classes at Rikers Island. This summer, Cassidy Mayeda took it upon themself to develop an incredibly thoughtful modular curriculum that would allow inmates without internet access to learn coding from Barnard student volunteers... [along with] their responsibilities of overseeing the ADDA coding academy, which offers free coding classes to Barnard students. For the inmates at Rikers, this offered an invaluable opportunity to develop skills that will help them succeed once released—and for the Barnard students, a unique opportunity to get insight into the prison system… This initiative couldn't be more well-suited to Grace Lee Boggs' vision to ‘love, serve and create for each other.’" — Nominated by Sarit Abramowicz, administrative director of student programs at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies


Bold Award for Dedication to Community Care + Uplift

Emma Toner ’18

“Emma Toner has dedicated her four years here to the wellness of the community and to supporting those who also work to care for the community. As a director and longtime listener for Nightline, she worked tirelessly to make sure our entire staff felt supported and comfortable asking for help, even at 3 a.m. She truly made everyone feel heard, whether they were anonymous Columbia students looking for a place to talk or Nightline listeners who could go to her with anything that was on their minds.”



“The very mission and purpose of Nightline is community uplift, healing, and self-care. What I most appreciate about Nightline’s work by the most recent co-directors (Sophie Gorgham, Waverly Engleman, Emma Toner, Albert Kohn, and Helena Denbroeder) is the intentionality with which they do their work. They have sought to build greater sensitivity and awareness amongst their staff for how social identities impact and inform students' experiences, particularly around mental health and stress/anxiety. They redesigned their training to discuss power, privilege, and oppression and pay careful attention to resources that are available to marginalized communities, specifically students of color, first gen students, and low-income students… They have done this in a respectful and inclusive way, ensuring that they do not rely upon stereotypes, assumptions, or tokenism so that they can be most effective in their work.” — Nominated by associate dean for student life Alina Wong


Bold Award for Visionary + Radical Leadership

Aku Acquaye ’18

“I am beyond thrilled that Aku is receiving the award for Visionary and Radical Leadership! She was one of the first people that I met at Barnard, and she has continued to inspire and challenge me with her incredible work since day one. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the coming years. Congratulations, Aku!” — Nominated by Veronica Suchodolski ’19

“...What is most striking about Aku is her compassionate leadership—she consistently and wholeheartedly throws herself into everything that she does. She pushes herself and others to be innovative and come up with creative new approaches to the status quo. This steadfast leadership encourages those around Aku to then hold themselves to higher standards as well.” — Nominated by Angela Beam ’18


Michele Budin ’18

“Michele began her work advocating for awareness about abuse and partner violence on a one-on-one basis. I remember her having friends or classmates over and taking time to validate their experiences. This semester, she decided to bring her passion to a larger platform. She is a DJ for WBAR and hosts the show ‘Bold, Beautiful, Battered.’ She challenges the notion that to be strong is to endure abuse, and she highlights the ‘red flags’ and minor manipulations that can build into an unhealthy and eventually abusive relationship. And of course, she plays incredible music by powerful women… She is a student who is committed to making Barnard students feel safer as well as providing a platform for them to talk about their experiences.” — Nominated by Najaad Dayib ’20