Posted 4:09 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

Leadership Award recipient Amanda Florence Goodenough, ’06, is known for her unwavering commitment to social justice, unparalleled compassion and humility, and impact on individuals and communities. Among the groups she has impacted: K-12 personnel, school superintendents, UW System employees, governmental personnel, community organizers, college students, co-workers, and others.

UWL’s Amanda Florence Goodenough recognized during MLK event

She’s a leader on campus — and throughout the community — championing diversity and continuously working for justice.

Longtime UW-La Crosse civil rights activist Amanda Florence Goodenough has received La Crosse’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award for that work. The director of the university’s Research & Resource Center for Campus Climate accepted the award during the annual King Community Celebration Jan. 18. The award recognizes leadership in commitment to building community, enhancing diversity and working for justice. 

The awards committee noted that in Goodenough’s nearly two decades at UWL, she has demonstrated visionary and transformative leadership on campus, as well as in the community and beyond. “She has worked to promote social justice around issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and other dimensions of identity,” the committee noted.

Goodenough, ’06, is known for her unwavering commitment to social justice, unparalleled compassion and humility, and impact on individuals and communities. Among the groups she has impacted: K-12 personnel, school superintendents, UW System employees, governmental personnel, community organizers, college students, co-workers, and others. 

A leader in anti-racism work, Goodenough is sought after for her workshops, keynote presentations and trainings that teach cultural humility while centering the voices of marginalized populations. She has founded or cofounded several significant campus initiatives that have touched the lives of people and communities locally, regionally, state-wide and nationally.

Among her initiatives:

  • The annual Hate/Bias Response Symposium, which brings together over 300 attendees and speakers from the La Crosse community and across the country to address acts of hate in the community and how to respond.
  • The Hate/Bias Response Team, where she maintains a reporting system which promotes accountability and healing for hate/bias incidents.
  • Awareness through Performance (ATP), an award-winning program offering an 11-day immersive student experience focusing on raising consciousness about social justice, diversity and climate issues, and speaking truth to power.
  • RISE UP – Racial & Intersecting Identity Symposium for Equitable University Progress, an intensive week-long identity immersion and coalition-building professional development training to increase faculty and staff awareness of race on campus while promoting increased action in anti-racism efforts.

Goodenough’s recent contributions to La Crosse area initiatives include: serving as the keynote speaker for the YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women; being a group facilitator for Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community; hosting and moderating the Anti-Racism: La Crosse Area Viewpoint Roundtable; along with being a member of the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council Speaker Bureau. She is often called upon to speak or facilitate during significant community social justice programs and initiatives.

The Amanda Florence Goodenough file

Longtime UWL civil rights activist Amanda Florence Goodenough, ’06, received La Crosse’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award. The award recognizes leadership in commitment to building community, enhancing diversity and working for justice.
  • Served as a graduate assistant in UWL Multicultural Student Services in 2004; hired as Campus Climate’s communications and program coordinator in August 2006; named assistant director, 2013; director, 2018.
  • Provides workshops, resources, assessment and consulting to advance social justice, equity, and inclusion throughout organizations; has led Awareness through Performance and Hate Response Team for more than 12 years.
  • Strives to recognize structural oppression, disrupt inequity, speak truth to power, and elevate historically marginalized voices and experiences.
  • Holds a bachelor’s in communications from UW-Platteville, 2001; master’s in College Student Development & Administration from UWL, 2006. Currently working on a doctorate in Student Affairs Administration and Leadership from UWL.
  • Serves as a team lead for Social Responsibility Speaks, LLC