Black women voters demand to be heard

by Roz Edward

In light of the shameful miscarriage of justice by a Louisville grand jury last week failing to hold a single person accountable for the police killing of Breonna Taylor, it’s imperative that somebody starts actually listening to and centering the voices of Black women. I’m hoping you can be that somebody by lifting up some of the critically important work being done to empower and mobilize Black women voters to turn out in force this election, using the power of the ballot to make their voices heard, demands known, and elected leaders be held to account. Reproductive Justice leaders across the country have partnered to launch the “I AM A Voter” voter education, engagement and empowerment campaign focused on encouraging Black women to get out the vote — nationally, plus additional efforts in targeted states: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

The ‘I AM A VOTER’ Reproductive Justice Week of Action kicks off Monday with a live panel and virtual launch event. I hope you can join us to listen in on the panel for a conversation on Reproductive Justice, voting rights, combatting voter suppression and the power of Black Women’s voting bloc, featuring an all-Black women expert panel including executive leadership from: In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sister Reach, Black Lives Matter, SisterLove, Three Point Strategies, M4BL Elector Justice Project and New Voices for Reproductive Justice. (Awaiting confirmation: Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-MA.) Full details for this and other Week of Action events included below.

Black women mobilize for ‘I AM A VOTER’ Reproductive Justice Week of Action
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda will host virtual launch event and live panel discussion on Sep. 28

On September 28, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is launching the fourth annual Reproductive Justice Week of Action (RJWOA) and will highlight its “I AM A VOTER” campaign. This year’s RJWOA is focusing on fighting voter suppression and mobilizing Black women voters to cast ballots on Election Day. A week of digital activities and engagement will kick off Monday, September 28 with a live panel discussion on voting rights and organizing.

The I AM A VOTER campaign is an ongoing project to register and educate voters and get them to the polls. The campaign’s GOTV (get out the vote) efforts will intensify and continue through Election Day 2020.

MONDAY, SEP. 28

WHAT: I AM A VOTER RJ Week of Action virtual launch and live panel discussion

WHO: This panel discussion will be a conversation on Reproductive Justice, voting rights, combatting voter suppression and the power of Black Women’s voting bloc, featuring:

Marcela Howell, president and CEO, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

Sherillyn Ifil, president, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Cherisse Scott, executive director, Sister Reach

Patrisse Cullors, executive director, Black Lives Matter

Dazon Dixon Diallo, founder and president, SisterLove

Jessica Byrd, co-founder, Three Point Strategies and M4BL Elector Justice Project

La’Tasha D Mayes, executive director New Voices for Reproductive Justice

(Awaiting confirmation: Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-MA)

WHEN: Monday, Sep. 28, 2020, 7 to 8 p.m. (EST)

WHERE: The event will stream live across In Our Own Voice’s social media accounts. Tune in to watch on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube

TUESDAY, SEP. 29

WHAT: Legislative Day of Action: Virtual legislative meetings with congressional, state and local leaders in California, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas

WHO: In Our Own Voice state Reproductive Justice partner organizations, including:

Black Women for Wellness (California)

Black Women’s Health Imperative

New Voices for Reproductive Justice

SisterLove, Inc.

SisterReach

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

The Afiya Center

Women With a Vision, Inc.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2020 (times vary by state)

WHERE: Due to COVID-19 all visits will be conducted virtually

WEDNESDAY, SEP. 30

WHAT: Instagram Live Pop-In Conversation

WHO: Hosted by In Our Own Voice and featuring:

Tessa Thompson, actor

WHEN: Wednesday, Sep 30, 6 to 7 p.m (EST)

WHERE: Join us on Instagram at @blackwomensrj or instagram.com/blackwomensrj

This Instagram Live Pop-In Conversation will focus on combating voter suppression, activating young voters, having a reason to vote, how to make a voter plan and what’s at stake.

THURSDAY, OCT. 1

WHAT: State Partner Digital Conversations about voting rights, voter engagement and early voting, in California, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas

WHO: In Our Own Voice state Reproductive Justice partner organizations, including:

Black Women for Wellness

Black Women’s Health Imperative

New Voices for Reproductive Justice

SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

The Afiya Center

Women With a Vision, Inc.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 (times/locations vary by state contact to request details)

WHERE: Digital or socially distanced events

FRIDAY, OCT. 2

WHAT: Visibility Day: Black women and allies will wear I AM A VOTER masks, tees, buttons and share selfies on social media to show solidarity and raise awareness about voting.

WHO: I AM A VOTER campaign supporters across the United States

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 (all day)

WHERE: Social media platforms

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