Newswise — Amanda Lawson, an undergraduate at New York University’s College of Arts and Science and an advocate for criminal justice reform, has been named a 2018 Truman Scholar.

At NYU, Lawson co-founded the Dollar Bail Brigade, which enlists more than 700 volunteers who post $1 bail—the amount often imposed by judges for minor offenses and to meet bureaucratic requirements—for those incarcerated at four New York City jails and who do not have others to post bail for them.

A native of Houston, Texas, Lawson is also an organizer for the NYU Dream Team, which advocates for undocumented students at NYU, and part of the university’s Governance Council of Minority and Marginalized Students. She is also an organizer for the Incarceration to Education Coalition, which supports formerly incarcerated students at NYU.

An AnBryce Scholar —recipients are first-generation college students at NYU—Lawson is majoring in public policy and minoring in poverty studies. She is currently on a five-year bachelors/master of public administration track, which will include a graduate degree at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Lawson has also interned at the Vera Institute of Justice and the Innocence Project, among other organizations. 

As one of 59 Truman Scholars for 2018, Lawson, a junior, will receive $30,000, which she will use to attend law school; she plans to enroll after completing her NYU program and working for a year.

Editor’s Note

Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, and has eleven other global academic sites around the world. More NYU students study internationally than any other university, according to the Open Doors Report by the Institute of International Education, and NYU ranks third in the United States for the number of foreign students enrolled. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, engineering, social work, cities, global public health, big data, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.


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