Last month, the American Political Science Association presented the 2022 APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement to Nykidra Robinson, CEO of OSI grantee Black Girls Vote and Professor Melissa Michelson for their work on the OSI-supported “Party at the Mailbox” campaign during the 2020 election.
The citation reads, in part:
The APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement honors significant civic or community engagement activity by a political scientist, alone or in collaboration with others, which explicitly merges knowledge and practice and goes beyond research to have an impact outside of the profession or the academy. This year’s selection committee reviewed a strong pool of applications from a variety of scholars engaged in a range of civic projects. After careful consideration, the committee was pleased to award the 2022 APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement to Melissa Michelson and Nykidra Robinson for their project “Party at the Mailbox”.
“Party at the Mailbox” was an innovative and nonpartisan voter education campaign piloted in June 2020 and designed to support voters in exercising their political power during a public health emergency and at a moment of electoral uncertainty. Created by Black Girls Vote founder Nykidra Robinson, the electoral mobilization campaign centers around equipping community-based celebrations that not only support voter participation through educational outreach but foster a sense of enthusiasm and political efficacy at the local level. The reach and effectiveness of “Party at the Mailbox” was enhanced by a partnership with Dr. Melissa Michelson from Menlo College whose randomized controlled trials provided evidence-based guidance on how to make “Party at the Mailbox’s” pilot and subsequent iterations effective.
The Party at the Mailbox campaign contributed to Baltimore City having the highest turnout in the state for the June 11 primary election and the highest turnout for a primary election since 1987.