JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Black Voters Matter Fund held a virtual town hall meeting addressing issues of black America faces with an emphasis on voting.

Originally Black Voters Matter would ride around from state to state in their tour bus but because of COVID-19, they held a Virtual Bus Tour and made a “stop” in Mississippi today to engage Black voters ahead of the November election.

The Virtual tour consisted of Civil rights advocates, community leaders, and policy experts who weighed in on issues affecting state residents.

12 News Gary Burton spoke with Carol Blackmon, the Mississippi State coordinator for The Black Voters Matter Fund and she says they are working to ensure that all voters have equal rights and access to a free and fair election process.

“I think people should figure out that there has to be a reason, especially for Black people about why we were not allowed to vote for so long…. I think that people need to understand that if we don’t vote then we are doing with some of the folks in power want us to do” said Blackmon.

Black Voters Matter says historically, Black people have had restricted voting access due to aggressive, discriminatory voter suppression tactics.

Blackmon adds that “there were a number of people who were actually accused of voter fraud and who felt that they had to except a plea or run the risk of going to jail.”

Panelist consisted of;

Bobby Rush – Grammy Award Winning Blues Singer

Allytra Perryman- Chair of The Cost-wide MLK Committee

Rukia Lumumba – Founder & executive Director of The People’s Advocacy Institute.

Oleta Fitzgerald – Regional Coordinator of The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative

Senator John Horhn – Mississippi Senator for District 26

Johnny B. Thomas – Founder & Executive Director of The Glendora Community Economic Development Center and Executive Director of The Emmit Till Intrepid Center