State Watch

Black Voters Matter Fund deploying voter outreach caravans in 12 states to drive turnout

Bonnie Cash

The Black Voters Matter Fund (BVMF), a nonprofit organization aimed at mobilizing voters in marginalized and predominantly Black communities, has announced a massive voter outreach initiative seeking to engage Black voters and boost turnout as the presidential election inches closer.

As part of the effort, which will span 12 states, BVMF said it will be rolling out radio advertisements, digital public service announcements as well voter caravans in a bid to engage and rally Black voters.

LaTosha Brown, who co-founded the organization in 2016 along with political strategist Cliff Albright, said in a statement that “with just seven weeks until Election Day, it is more important than ever that voters remain active, informed, and engaged.”

“We are in the midst of a historic election year, one where Americans — particularly Black Americans — face the compounding crises of a global pandemic, record-high unemployment, police brutality, and rampant voter suppression,” she said.

“But with the power of our votes, we can hold leaders accountable and create a path toward change in our communities. Today, we are launching this initiative to continue building that power and to help Black voters use the power of the polls this November,” she added.

The group said its radio ads will air from now until the day before the election in several states and that it will be deploying voter outreach caravans states across the South and the Midwest.

The caravans, the group said, will be led “by 15-passenger vans that will canvass major metropolitan areas” in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Later this week, the group also said it will be teaming up with BET and the National Urban League for an effort it dubbed as the “first-ever National Black Voter Day.” The organization described the move as an “effort to demystify the voting process for Black citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The group also said it will be co-hosting the Hip-Hop Political Education Summit with figures like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Princeton University professor Cornel West and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson later this month.

The announcement comes several months after the group drew attention for circulating a petition in April pushing for more race data on the COVID-19 pandemic after early data showed Black people were being infected and dying from the illness at higher rates compared to other groups.

The effort also comes arrives on the heels of a virtual bus tour the held this year that involved civil rights advocates and health care professional that it said was aimed at engaging Black voters across 13 states “around the issues impacting their communities.”

Tags Coronavirus Cory Booker

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