On Friday, June 19, the Akron NAACP will convene community partners to consolidate resources and networks to Get Out The Vote for the November election.
The primary goal of AkronVotes2020 is to develop a community-wide strategy to register, educate, inform and transport voters for the 2020 Presidential Election. As the Secretary of State and state legislators consider changes to the voting process during COVID-19, this coalition will develop targeted activities to help engage voters.
June 19, or Juneteenth, marks the effective end of slavery in the United States, with the last Confederate state, Texas, finally declaring its end in 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. “We chose Juneteenth as our launch date because it symbolizes the strength of our Black community in the face of overwhelming adversity,” said Judi Hill, Akron NAACP President. While Black voter turnout was unprecedented in the 2008 and 2012 General Elections, turnout fell during the 2016 Presidential Election. Ohio is among the states with the highest political engagement among Black voters.
“We want to remain in that top five by engaging low propensity voting neighborhoods, addressing voter suppression issues that arise, and staying on top of changes in the election process.” Hill added.
AkronVotes2020 seeks to engage voters across all demographics by providing up-to-date information, addressing questions and concerns, and working to ensure every vote counts.
Juneteenth’s event will be held virtually. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will speak on the importance of voting. The event also will include music and African drum call with spoken word provided by DJ Lo-Key and Kwame Williams. Resources and updates will be presented by core partners of AkronVotes2020.
All community organizations and interested residents are invited to join the event on June 19 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Preregister at https://ppaf.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEoc-uurj4tGdJBDEbmwfQJ64hvrH2zosgd. For info, visit the Akron Votes 2020 Facebook page or www.akronvotes2020.com.
AkronVotes2020 core Community Partners are: Akron NAACP, Akron Canton Chapter of the National Black Social Workers, Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, League of Women Voters of Akron Area, First Grace United Church of Christ, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men, and UU Justice Ohio.