Black Voters Matter, one of the nation’s leading voting rights organizations, announced its plans to mobilize Black voters as part of its “Blackest Bus in America” fall bus tour.
This year’s campaign and tour titled “We Won’t Black Down” will make stops throughout the region leading up to the general election on Nov. 8 and will engage with Black voters, policymakers, faith-based leaders, Black influencers, and HBCU students. At this moment, we’re seeing a rise in white supremacy, political division, and the weaponizing of race. We are standing firmly in Black social movements and standing firmly in our birthright. We deserve a strong and inclusive democracy, and we won’t back down. We won’t Black down.
Coinciding with National Black Voters Day on Sept. 16, this GOTV campaign is designed to raise awareness on issues impacting local Black communities, engage in on the ground GOTV mobilization efforts, particularly around local and state elections, and build community power through the celebration of Black love and joy. The tour will include multiple activations that reflect BVM’s vast programming and partnership network, including the Florida coalition campaign “We Draw the Lines,” which seeks to draw attention to gerrymandering underway in the state; BVM’s Take the Field Initiative focuses on GOTV efforts on local HBCU campuses; and various partnerships, including BET, The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (Divine Nine); among others.
“While voting is always an exercise in using our power, we know this year that our safety, our health, our freedom is also on the ballot,” said Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
“Racist practices and policies that attempt to subvert our democracy directly stem from the far right’s fear of Black voters’ power. And right-wing leaders have a long track record of devaluing Black lives and placing power and their own agenda over the health and well-being of our people. Our campaign is meant to shine a light on issues that matter to Black voters, but also to expose the far-right’s intentional strategy to undermine freedom and progress.”
“From the criminalization of abortion to the water crises in my hometown state of Alabama, and Mississippi, Black people have always bore the brunt of racism in this country. But we will not let them kill us,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
“We will not let them systematically take our right to freedom away. And we will not allow a culture of fear, intimidation and frustration hinder us from showing up and turning out this November. Local and state elections are pivotal to protecting our rights. This fall, BVM will take to the road to do what we have always done – educate, mobilize and build power with our communities because we know that when we show up, we win.”
The tour will collaborate with several of BVM’s local and state partners to host rallies, educational events and canvassing across 12 key states, including Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Black Voters Matter will be updating its website with new bus stops over the next several weeks. A schedule of initial stops is provided below. For the latest information as well as locations, please visit BVM’s website.
– Sept. 14: “We Draw the Lines” Congressional District 14 (Tampa).
– Oct. 13-16: Tampa/St. Petersburg, Daytona Beach, Sanford, Orlando.
– Sept. 16: Albany State University.
– Sept. 17: Fort Valley State.
– Sept. 18: Americus and Cordelle, Georgia.
– Sept. 19: Savannah State University.
– Sept. 19: Griffin, Georgia.
– Sept. 20: Trees Atlanta.
– Sept. 26-30: Charlotte, Salisbury, Winston Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Elizabeth City.
– Sept.24-27: Central Texas.
– Oct. 5-8: East Texas.
To learn more about the tour, visit https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/we-wont-black-down/.