NNPA and Transformative Justice Coalition Announce National GOTV Campaign Targeting 10 Million More Black Voters

 By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

@StacyBrownMedia

Ahead of the all-important 2022 midterm elections, reports show that more than 55 million Americans remain unregistered to vote – and about 10 million are African Americans who are eligible to vote but who are unregistered.

Whether the reason is because of apathy, suppression, or other means, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and the Transformative Justice Coalition seek to get to the bottom of why, with so much at stake, voter registration and GOTV mobilization remain lacking notably among Black Americans across the nation.

During the national convention marking the 195th-anniversary celebration of the Black Press of America in New Orleans, leaders of both organizations announced a get-out-to-vote campaign aimed at registering and mobilizing GOTV for 10 million more African Americans to vote in time for the 2022 midterms.

“The NNPA has talked about the vote, and there is no better time for us to show our power,” NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards stated during the announcement at the national convention in the Big Easy.

“Let us take the lead and not be on the tail-end so we can show the present-day power of the Black Press,” continued Richards, who publishes the Houston Forward Times.

“This is a great opportunity for us; we’ve got to make this happen.” Attorney Barbara Arnwine, the founder, and president of the Transformative Justice Coalition, and her board chair and fellow lawyer Daryl Jones, told a captivated panel that their organization had recorded 72 voter suppression tactics to prevent a large population from casting ballots.

Among them are strict voter laws in many Republican-led states, deceptive practices like robocalls; early voting cuts; and voter intimidation.

“Black voters did our share in 2020,” Arnwine remarked.

“Ninety-three percent of all eligible Black voters registered in Georgia. Yet, in the 2021 Georgia Senate run-off, 93 percent of all registered Black voters turned out. That’s why people don’t understand where the real power is.”

Along with NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., Richards, NNPA Executive Board members Janis Ware, Fran Farrer, Cheryl Smith, and Jackie Hampton, Arnwine and Jones announced that the groups would utilize a multivehicle “votercade” to get out the vote.

They said individuals riding in new and COVID-safe tour buses would hit swing states ahead of the November elections to register and mobilize GOTV for 10 million new Black voters.

Chavis said artists from Roc Nation, the company run by hip-hop magnate and business mogul Jay-Z, would accompany the votercade in some cities.

Music superstar Stephanie Mills also pledged to “get on the bus with the Black Press and the Transformative Justice Coalition.”

Chavis said he’s convinced other celebrities will also join the national GOTV campaign.

“The first form of voter suppression is self-suppression,” Dr. Chavis asserted.

“This last primary election showed that some of us were keeping ourselves from voting. There are 55 million unregistered Americans eligible to vote, and 10 million are African Americans,” Chavis continued.

“What if those 10 million were registered? We wouldn’t have worried about Donald Trump or the craziness of what the U.S. Supreme Court is doing now. Elections have consequences. The overturned Roe v. Wade, the overturned gun laws – are consequences of elections.”

With more than 235 African American-owned newspapers and media companies serving as members, the NNPA represents the Black Press of America.

The Transformative Justice Coalition’s mission includes the systematic change that achieves racial justice, gender, economic and social justice, and human rights through public education and engagement initiatives that attend equally to hearts and minds as well as the social systems and structure in which they exist.

Further, the coalition dedicates itself to informed civic engagement and equal voting rights for everyone.

They use a voting rights map of shame to inform the public of threats to America’s democracy, how to protect their voting rights, and steps to take to ensure the ability to cast a ballot and make sure it’s counted.

The organization also seeks the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.

“[Anti-voting rights organizations and individuals] have trained 10,000 people to be poll disruptors to go to only Black polling sites,” Arnwine declared.

“They’re not sending them to white polling sites, and if you watched the [Jan. 6] hearings, this is a concentrated effort to disempower Black voters,” she stated.

According to Davis, more than 18 million people are eligible to vote but don’t know it.

“They are the felony disenfranchised,” Davis insisted.

“They are confused. It’s intentionally done in various states. For example, in some states, you never lose your right to vote, and in some states, you can run for office if you’re incarcerated,” he explained.

The votercade would help educate voters and explain what’s legal, among other things. “We’re calling on all 235 NNPA members,” Dr. Chavis encouraged.

“That call and response from our brothers and sisters are vital. It’s movement time, it is time Get-Out-The-Vote” he declared further.

“With the Transformative Justice Coalition, the NNPA will help move our people forward to get out this vote. In 2022, we will make the critical difference in the midterm elections in terms of increasing Black voter participation throughout the country.”

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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