Black Voters Matter Bus Tour Will Touch 13 States By Election Day
Some civic engagement organizations working to encourage participation for this year’s midterm elections are doing so with a message that centers on actively engaging in democracy after voters cast their ballots on Election Day.
LaTosha Brown, Co-founder of Black Voters Matter says the inspiration for their multi-layered approach stems from previous civil rights movements and a desire to deeply empower the Black community.
“We created this organization with the explicit purpose of building power and spreading love in the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Brown.
Black Voters Matter, which was founded in 2016, focuses on marginalized, predominantly Black communities and aims to encourage citizens to vote while also helping them expand their influence when it comes to public policy.
“We have to simultaneously be gathering our people, building out our ecosystem, our infrastructure, and our communities,” said Brown.
To that end, the organization hosts policy forums and clinics on various topics including participatory budgeting and rank choice voting, and they are also collaborating with various organizations to build excitement around the upcoming midterm elections.
Currently on a 13-state bus tour, volunteers for Black Voters Matter will be speaking with Black voters, policymakers, faith-based leaders, Black influencers, and HBCU students in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin up until Election Day.
Brown says the conversations had with voters are based on today’s reality of Black American’ lived experiences.
“We're very honest with people. This ain't about no political party. This ain't about no candidate. This is about you. This is about black people standing in our agency and using our collective power,” said Brown.
By having these candid conversations, Brown says, Black Voters Matter aims to create a space where Black Americans can be honest about their concerns, feel supported, and gain encouragement to reimagine what Black liberation looks like.
“There are systems that have created these economic inequities - these political inequities - for our communities. We want the elimination of those things so that we have the freedom to reimagine,” said Brown.
Black Voters Matter also supports other organizations doing similar work in the Black community. It has also partnered with the BET #ReclaimYourVote 2022 campaign to elevate their midterm election push.
“To be able to have platforms not only recognize but actually honor black culture and to be able to align our work with that and get our message out - we're happy about that.”
By building capacity and support in the Black community, Brown says Black Voters Matter ultimately hopes more Black Americans can be inspired to have more political influence.
“Our community should have power. And we can use our collective power to get better outcomes for our community,” said Brown who also added the ultimate goal of Black Voters Matter is to build capacity today, to create a better future for Black Americans.
“History shows us that whenever black folks have used our collective power, whether we had money, whether we have resources, whether we had politics on our sides, things changed.”
Black Voters Matter is encouraging your participation in the #ReclaimYourVote 2022 campaign by going to their website to find resources to help you check your voter registration status, connect with their campaign, or sign up to volunteer.
Visit Reclaim Your Vote: Your Voice, Your Power, Our Democracy for more information.
Visit vote.gov to register to vote, check your registration status, and find voter registration deadlines.