Election Protection: A Call to Action for the Black Community

“The Vote is the most important non-violent tool we have.”

The Honorable Congressman John Lewis

During the first presidential candidates’ debate, we heard more than one provocative dog-whistle for voter intimidation.  We will not sit idly on the sidelines and be deprived of our fundamental rights.  And we will not give comfort to those attempting to spread fear and hatred.

The challenges confronting the Black community in 2020 are well documented: police killings, an inadequate response to the Coronavirus, mass unemployment, and systematic racism. We now face a concerted effort to suppress and disenfranchise the Black community’s inalienable right to vote.

In 2013, the Supreme Court eroded many of the vital protections contained in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Many states have made it increasingly difficult for minorities to vote.  We face the same challenges our community had to fight against in the 1950s and ’60s. And in the spirit of the late Congressman Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, we too must have a plan of action.

Today, we launch Protect Our People to organize and train our community to serve as volunteer poll monitors in their neighborhoods.  We estimate we will need more than 5000 volunteers to protect the polls to ensure that our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues can exercise their lawful right to vote in a peaceful and safe environment.  And while we call on Black people to stand up and stand firm as we head to the polls, we need everyone to join us.

Rise and stand with us at the polls. We must act today to protect our freedoms of tomorrow.  Our collective presence on the electoral process’s frontlines will send a clear message that the Black community is prepared to stand tall, with allies, and unite toward progress.

In Solidarity,

Derrick Johnson

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson

Patrisse Cullors

Judith Browne Dianis

Isiah Thomas

Leon Russell

Karen Boykin-Towns

LaToia Jones

Rev. Leah Daughtry

Phillip Agnew

Alice Huffman

Hazel N. Dukes

Rev. Al Sharpton

Melanie Campbell

Nile Rodgers

Russell Taylor

Everett B. Ward, Ph.D.

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover

Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq.

Dr. David Marion

Beverly E. Smith

Micheal E. Cristal

Valerie Hollingsworth Baker

Rasheeda S. Liberty

Andre R. Manson

Michael Boatman

Kyra Mitchell

William Lucy

Helen Myers

Courtland Cox

Rev. Dr. William Barber II

Jamal R. Watkins

Tyler McBride

Glynda Carr

DeJoiry McKenzie-Simmons

Dwayne Proctor, PhD.

Michael A. Curry

Tiffany Dena Loftin

Curtis Symonds

Raymond Curry

Hilary Shelton

Theresa A. Dear

Dominik Whitehead

  1. Joy Williams

Kimberly Jeffries Leonard

Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown

Gerald Hudson

Alphonso Braggs

Roslyn M. Brock

Virginia Case

Ra’Vynn Waters

Yvonne White

Robin Williams

Eris Sims

James Woodall

John Gibson

Danielle Sydnor

Rev. Alvin Herring

Tiffany Flowers

Dr. Garth Graham

Rev. Dr. Zina Pierre

Jerushia Wrighten-Kelly

Tamer Mokthar

Montague Simmons

Dr. John E. Arradondo

Maya J. Bermingham

Alaina C. Beverly

Lori George Billingsley

Janette McCarthy Wallace

Stephanie Owens

Stephanie Jones

Madie Robinson

Larcine Bland

Yumeka Rushing

Tori O’Neal

Zafar J. Brooks

Chaka Bugess

Brittney Calloway

Georgette Dixon

Angela Dorn

Edward Foster Simeon

Patrick R. Gaston

James Harris

Thomas L. Kalahar

Shazzia Khan

Tanya Leah Lombard

Nathaniel Miles

Rev. Keith Norman

Wisdom Cole

Dr. Lonnie Randolph

Barbara Sapp Davis

Esther Silver Parker

Stephanie Silverman

John Spinnato

CeLois Steele

Michael R. Twyman, Ph.D

LaChandra White

Roy L. Williams

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

Carole Young

Akosua Ali

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony

Wandra Ashley-Williams

Ophelia Averitt

Fred Banks, Jr.

Gary Bledsoe

Barbara Bolling-Williams

Debra Brown

Ericka Cain

Rick L. Callender

Juan M. Cofield

Carolyn Q. Coleman

Raoul Cunningham

Dedric L. Doolin

Edward DuBose

Katherine T. Egland

Scot X. Esdaile

Charnell Ferguson

James Gallman

John Gaskin III

George Gresham

Wendell J. Harris, Sr.

Ron Hasson

Morandon Henry

Leonard James III

Howard Jefferson

Thomas L. Kalahar

Alan B. Lazowski

Adora Obi Nweze

James C. Perkins

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Dennis V. Proctor

Steven Ricard

Traelon Rodgers

Peter Rose

Alfred Rucks

Benard Simelton

Richard T. Smith

Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart

Gloria J. Sweet-Love

Marvin F. Thomas, Sr.

Jesse H. Turner, Jr.

Michael T. Turner

David Walker

Gina Lawrence

Jonathon Lewis

Takiyah Jefferson

Joel Alvarado

Kenneth Worles

Toine Murphy

Jerry Primm

Michael Cogbill

Marcus Fairley

Joan Hollingsworth

Travaris Mccurdy

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