Over the weekend, and in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, a number of black celebrities and public figures are taking to their networks to encourage people to get out and vote.
Last Friday, five days out from Election Day, Jay Z put on a concert rally in Cleveland for Hillary Clinton. The all-star lineup not only featured Jay Z, Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, and J. Cole, but also a surprise appearance in the form of Beyoncé herself. As if seeing all of these performers in one concert isn’t enough, the rally was free; all in a passionate effort to emphasize the need to get out the vote.
From free concerts to busing to the polls, here are five ways high-profile folks are mobilizing to get people to the polls, and emphasizing the need to participate in the democratic process and make your voice heard on Nov. 8.
The Youth Gets It Done feat. T.I., Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Pusha T, Jay Electronica
Today, hip-hop artists including T.I., Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Pusha T, Jay Electronica, and more, will join civic and community engagement firm Vestige Strategies and the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Union to encourage the millennial vote at the Youth Gets It Done rally. Held at Florida Memorial University and hosted by Angie Martinez, the rally aims to help mobilize black and Latino youth to the polls on Election Day and will also include activists and leaders such as Sybrina Fulton, Aja Monet, Afro-Cuban poet Carmen Berkley, Sierra Club President Aaron Mair, and Stephen Green, the NAACP Youth and College Division National Director. The Youth Gets It Done rally goes from 6-10pm ET with doors opening at 5pm ET.
Chance the Rapper and SocialWorks Free Concert
SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper’s newly launched nonprofit organization, partnered with Virgin Hotels Chicago, Boost Your Voice, and The TurboVote Challenge to host a free rooftop concert to push Chicago’s youth to vote. Now taking place today at Petrillo Music Shell at Grant Park from 3pm-5pm, the performances will feature Twin Peaks, Malcolm London, Taylor Bennett (Chance’s younger brother), Eryn Allen Kane, oddCouple, Stefan Ponce, and more. The support doesn’t stop there. Chance and his team at SocialWorks will lead concertgoers, parade-style, to the nearest polling station to take action and vote.
A Day of Black Radio Solidarity – Driving Souls To The Polls
On Election Day, the collective of black radio—urban, old school, and hip-hop—will come together for “A Day of Black Radio Solidarity – Driving Souls To The Polls.” This one-day, national non-partisan “get-out-and-vote” campaign includes a five-point call-to-action:
1. Vote Early! Get An Absentee Ballot, complete it and return it to your local Board Of Elections.
2. Go 5 Deep: Call a neighbor. Call a friend and let’s transport them to the polls.
3. Calling all lawyers, fraternities, sororities, and community leaders to please VOLUNTEER as an observer to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
4. Know Your Rights: Study the sample ballots. Learn about the candidates.
5. On Nov. 8, 2016, Don’t complain, VOTE.
Participating radio hosts include, but are not limited to, the following: Tom Joyner – The Tom Joyner Morning Show (Reach Media); Steve Harvey – The Steve Harvey Morning Show (Premiere Media); Big Boy – Big Boy’s Neighborhood; Russ Parr – The Russ Parr Show (Reach Media); Sway-Sway In The Morning (Sirius Satellite Radio); Sheryl Underwood-Sheryl Underwood Radio; Michael Colyar – The Afternoon Rush (American Urban Radio Networks); J. Anthony Brown – J. Anthony Brown; Sam Sylk – The Sam Sylk Show, CAFÉ MOCHA SHOW – (Westwood One), Dede McGuire Dede in the Morning – K104-Dallas, Texas), KJ “Midday” Bland – KRNB 105.7 FM, Jeff “Uzi D” Anderson, Operations MGR / Program Director, WPEG – Power 98; WBAV – V101.9 (Beasley Media Group-Charlotte, NC), Kenny Smoov, Program Director, WQQK – 92Q (Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. – Nashville, TN) and Anjali McGuire “Anjali Queen B” – 95.7 The Beat – Tampa Bay, FL.
Correction: SocialWorks and Virgin Hotels Chicago Parade to the Polls concert with Chance the Rapper and others has been relocated to the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. Black Enterprise originally published the concert would be held at The Virgin Hotel Chicago.