D.C. Rally to Conclude Black Voters Matter “Freedom Ride for Voting Rights” to Support Voting Rights Legislation, Push for D.C. Statehood, Empower Black Voters
Follows Friday Press Conference on Eight-Year Anniversary of Dangerous Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court Decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This Saturday, June 26, Black Voters Matter (BVM) and more than 50 civil rights, voter rights, and racial justice organizations will hold the first-ever national rally in support of D.C. statehood. The rally comes at the tail-end of BVM’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights, a nine city, eight day tour to increase support for federal voting rights legislation, advocate for D.C. statehood, and build Black voting power. This D.C. rally will be the first major demonstration advocating for D.C. statehood to be organized by national organizations in solidarity with local activists.
On Juneteenth, BVM kicked-off the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights 2021 tour in Jackson, MS, bringing a fleet of the “Blackest Buses in America” to key southern states to rally with partners and concerned citizens to discuss issues impacting their communities. In particular, advocates addressed head-on the voter suppression movement sweeping the country as more than 40 states consider legislation to restrict voting rights, which would have a disproportionate impact on Black communities. BVM announced the initiative earlier this year on the 60-year anniversary of the original Freedom Ride of 1961.
Today, the fight for justice and progress continues as the keepers of democracy work to protect equal and fair access to the ballot box for all voters. Given the major events of this week – the Senate hearing on D.C. statehood and the Senate procedural vote on S.1 For the People Act — the rally for D.C. statehood comes at an opportune time as policymakers, advocates and activists converge on this critical issue.
WHO: The DC rally will include a variety of voices on Saturday (subject to change), including:
- Cliff Albright, Black Voters Matter
- Barbara Arnwine, Transformative Justice Coalition
- Dara Baldwin, Center for Disability Rights
- Muriel Bowser, DC Mayor (Invited)
- Diallo Brooks, People for the American Way
- Anika Wilson Brown, Union Temple Baptist Church
- LaTosha Brown, Black Voters Matter
- Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
- Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
- Ty Hobson-Powell, Concerned Citizens DC
- Tamika Mallory, Until Freedom
- Gerry Hudson, SEIU
- Anise Jenkins, Stand Up for Democracy/ Free DC
- Rahim Jenkins, DC Activist
- Sharon Pratt Kelly, Former DC Mayor
- Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX (Invited)
- Bo Shuff, DC Vote
- Anise Jenkins, Free D.C. & Statehood Now
- Rev. Mark Thompson, Make It Plain (Emcee and Host)
- And more!
There will also be free food, merchandise and music, including:
- Big Tony and TroubleFunk Go-Go Band
- TCB Go-Go Band
- DJ Soul
Saturday, June 26
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
National Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets (near Madison Dr), Washington D.C.
Members of the media are encouraged to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct any media inquiries to email@example.com
Shelby County v Holder Press Conference (Friday, June 25)
BVM will also host a separate press conference and vigil at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court (1 First Street NE) on Friday, June 25 to acknowledge the eight-year anniversary of the dangerous Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision. The ruling, which gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, has resulted in rampant voter suppression across the country, particularly in Black communities which are disproportionately impacted by voter suppression tactics. Black Voters Matter co-founders LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright and other local and national voting rights advocates will give remarks reflecting on the legacy of the decision and urging federal lawmakers to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation.
Photo: Kerwin Pittman or RREPS & Emancipate NC leads “The People’s Protest” March in North Carolina.