Everyone’s attention has been on Georgia this past week as people awaited the results of the Senate runoff elections. During the 2020 election, Georgia became a key battleground state, with Gen Z voters and Black voters turning out to vote in record numbers. However, the record voter turnout during both the general election and special election wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the joint efforts of grassroots organizers, fundraisers and activists who reached out to hundreds of thousands of voters through phone banking, text banking, and canvassing amidst the global pandemic.
From helping new voters who just turned 18 after the 2020 general election to register to encouraging voters to vote as early as possible, the following Black organizers played a remarkable role in helping to increase voter turnout in the state of Georgia:
LaTosha Brown speaking at an event (Dean Anthony II)
Former Georgia State Representative and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams founded Fair Fight Action in 2018 to address voter suppression. Abrams has been working tirelessly to mobilize Georgia voters, protect voter rights, and increase civic engagement.
Tamieka Atkins is executive director of ProGeorgia, a non-partisan voter engagement advocacy organization in Georgia that aims to involve underrepresented voters in elections. Atkins is a member of the State Voices National Network of Tables.
LaTosha Brown is the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the BVM Capacity Building Institute. The Black Voters Matter Fund focuses on voter registration and policy advocacy. Brown, a native of Alabama, is inevitably leading the stride in social justice.
Helen Butler is the executive director at the Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda, which “works to support and help build state coalitions in the Southeast states.” The coalition has also helped to lead Election Protection in Georgia.
Melanie L. Campbell
Melanie Campbell is the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. She is also a convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, which is centered on helping Black women harness voting power.
Deborah Scott is the Executive Director of Georgia STAND-UP, which supports “community economic development through advocacy.” The organization played a significant role in educating and registering voters across Georgia.
Nsé Ufot serves as the executive director of the New Georgia Project and the New Georgia Project Action Fund. The New Georgia Project did outreach to millions of potential voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Everyone deserves the right to vote. As we celebrate the success of Georgia organizers who were able to reach disenfranchised and youth voters, it is our duty to take action to ensure that all people are able to vote safely. Join us on February 2nd as we advocate for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. IGNITE womxn around the country will be advocating in favor of the bill that would protect voter rights.