The work to support equity and justice doesn’t stop. Since the presidential election and U.S. Senate run-off in Georgia, Black Voters Matter has been working diligently with local partners in key southern states to combat the numerous voter suppression bills put forth by conservative legislators after Black voters made history in last year’s election.
Furthermore, we’re working with our grassroots partners to hold corporations accountable for supporting lawmakers whose restrictive voting bills threaten fair and equal ballot access. To date, corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Major League Baseball have come out against these Jim Crow-era bills. And in a recent New York Times open letter, hundreds of other corporations, business leaders, and influencers joined our fight against this legislation and stood in solidarity with Black voters.
But this work isn’t over. Earlier this year, BVM kicked off another tour on the “Blackest Bus in America” to listen to the needs and concerns of Black voters voice their needs and concerns, raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine, and fight for progressive candidates in local elections who can help find solutions to challenges that Black voters face.
The following is a roundup of our work to-date and the work that lies ahead as we continue our campaign to build Black voting power and save democracy once again. Read about what we’re doing in states like Georgia, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina and how you can join in.
We continue to partner with Georgia-based organizations to address the voter suppression laws recently passed in our home state. Our most recent activities include:
- Partnering with New Georgia Project and Rise, Inc to sue the Georgia Secretary of State and four members of the State Election Board to challenge the voter suppression bill, SB 202;
- Launching a corporate accountability campaign urging Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines to apply economic pressure to the politicians backing these heinous voter suppression bills; and
- Leading actions on the ground in Augusta, Valdosta, and Macon to register voters and urge organizations to divest from voter suppression efforts.
In Texas, we’re working with MOVE Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas Organizing Project, and other local partners in a multi-pronged campaign to support Black voters and stop suppression bills like HB6 and SB7. Our recent activities include:
- Pressuring Texas-based corporations like AT&T to stand with Texas voters and stop voter suppression;
- Standing with local partners and community leaders to denounce voter suppression legislation;
- Supporting local organizing efforts, such as Fix SAPD to amplify the needs for both public and department accountability in regards to police violence.
We’re kicking our efforts in Florida into high gear, as the state works to pass several bills targeting basic civil rights like the right to vote and the right to protest, which will have disastrous impacts on Black communities. That work includes:
- Opposing Florida’s SB 484/HB 1 bills, which are designed to limit free speech and crack down on protests related to racial justice; and
- Calling on Florida corporations to join the fight against suppression laws HB1 and SB90.
This month, our efforts continue in North Carolina, as we work to fight NC’s suppression bill SB 326. We are:
- Inviting Black voter to voice their concerns during a 21-day listening session tour where residents can discuss priority issues in the their communities, either by joining a virtual event or submitting this google survey by 4/29; and
- Co-hosting a GOTVaccine Mini Bus Tour with local partner War4Life to inform and engage Black voters on the benefits of the vaccine and issues that are directly impacting Black communities throughout the state.
In Mississippi, we raised voter awareness and engagement in the lead up to the Jackson City Council primary election on April 6. As a continuation of our “We Got The Power” bus tour, we stopped in several Jackson locations to inform people about the primary election, create a community atmosphere, and encourage voter registration and participation.
In the month of May, BVM will be hitting the road yet again on the “Blackest Bus in America,” where we’re planning to make stops in Selma and Montgomery to continue our work to build Black voting power. On May 8th – the John Lewis Day of Action – we will be hosting events to bring awareness to the support of the HR4 voting rights bills also known as the John Lewis Advancement Voting Rights Act.
For BVM and our partners it will not be business as usual. We will continue to inform, engage and collaborate with Black voters to use their power to hold policymakers and corporations accountable in our fight for equity and justice.