The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

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Angelo Greco at (917) 499-2688  angelo@trillmulticultural.com

Oct 21, 2022

NATIONAL COALITION ON BLACK CIVIC PARTICIPATION ENGAGES HUNDREDS OF BLACK VOTERS BY TAKING ITS UNITY ’22 ‘POWER OF THE BALLOT’ GOTV COMEDY TOUR AND ORGANIZING WEEKEND TO THE MIDWEST WITH SWINGS IN KALAMAZOO & METRO DETROIT

Washington, DC (October 21, 2022) – Yesterday, The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), in partnership with its state affiliates, the Michigan Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Kalamazoo Michigan Black Women’s Roundtable, and the Mothers of Hope--brought its Unity ’22 “Power of the Ballot” Evening of Comedy and GOTV Rally to the City of Kalamazoo, MI. The Unity ’22 National GOTV Tour is being organized in cities in five battleground states including: Cleveland & Columbus, OH; Metro Atlanta, GA; Metro Detroit and Kalamazoo, MI; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Orlando, Daytona/Volusia & Brevard County, FL.  The Tour kicked off in Ohio the weekend of October 7th – 9th and will end with an election day command center to monitor the Black Vote from its TWD Jr. Institute on the Campus of Clark Atlanta University.

The Unity ’22 National GOTV Tour goals are to celebrate and lift up the leaders, organizers and activists doing the hard Black civic engagement work on the ground, by providing them with a night of fun & comedy; and to help increase Black voter turnout in OH, FL, GA, MI, PA.  The 30-day GOTV activations include organizing a BWR “Power of the Ballot” evening of comedy & GOTV rally; door-to-door neighborhood canvassing; text banking; gospel & souls to the polls early voting mobilizations; “Protect our Vote Sundays;” literature distribution; and more. The Unity ’22 GOTV National Tour is powered by AARP, NEO Philanthropy/State Infrastructure Fund, National Education Association, Service Employees International Union and The Kapor Center.

Thursday’s evening of comedy, conversation and GOTV organizing weekend kickoff took place at The Xperience Event Center in Kalamazoo alongside a GOTV Rally. Speakers throughout the weekend included Tonya Tyson, Vice President of Operations at the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Christina Cue, Unity 22 National Campaign Manager, Stephanie Williams, Convener of The Kalamazoo Black Women’s Roundtable and several other Kalamazoo community leaders.

The evening of comedy was hosted by Meshelle “The Indie-Mom” of Comedy, and included comedic performances by BPhlat and Vanessa Fraction.
 
Following the evening of comedy, local organizers from NCBCP MI affiliate and state partners undertook phone banking and neighborhood voter literature drops through Michigan Black Youth Vote.  

NCBCP Unity ’22 GOTV Tour national and MI state partners include: Black Women’s Roundtable, Kalamazoo, Mothers of Hope, One Goal, Mugged by Mira, A. Philip Randolph Institute, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, Inc.,  Family Values @ Work Action, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, League of Women Voters USA, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund,  National Action Network, National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, National Education Association, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League, Nelson’s Outreach Ministries, Poder Latinx, Prophetic Women Power Rising, Sisters Lead, Sisters Vote, The Collective Education Fund, and #WinWithBlackWomen. 

Melanie Campbell, NCBCP CEO and Convener of The Black Women’s Roundtable stated, “Michigan is a battleground state where Black voter turnout will have statewide and national consequences for decades to come. We are working round the clock in every community to make sure Black voters are informed and empowered to own their power through the ballot. Our ‘Power of the Ballot’ GOTV Comedy Tour and GOTV activations in Kalamazoo served two goals: 1) to thank and bring joy (through laughter) to the leaders, organizers and activists who are working hard to get out the Black vote and 2) to energize the grassroots activists who are engaging our communities to canvass and knock on doors to register, motivate and mobilize our people to ‘own their power’ and to increase the Black vote share in the 2022 midterm Elections. Our weekend of organizing allows us to reach hundreds of Black voters throughout Michigan. I can’t give enough praise to our affiliates, partners and volunteers in the state for their leadership, hard work and role in elevating the needs of our communities, defending the vote, and saving our democracy time and again.”

Ms. Stephanie Williams, Convener of the Kalamazoo Black Women's Roundtable, said “The Power of the Ballot Comedy Tour helped bring levity to our community at a time where we are faced with attacks on our rights and freedoms on a daily basis. We may be outspent, but we are putting in the work to ensure we are never out-organized. Our work through the Kalamazoo Black Women’s Roundtable and Black Youth Vote is inspiring hundreds of Black households to use our collective power and share and keep our issues front and center in the political discourse.”

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The Unity ’22 Campaign is a national and multi-state organizing, non-partisan, integrated voter engagement campaign focused on a number of issues, including increasing Black voter turnout and providing voter protection tools for Black voters to ensure their votes are counted in the 2022 Mid-Term Election. The Unity ’22 Campaign is a diverse group of over 50 national and state-based partner organizations and NCBCP/BWR affiliates and networks.  NCBCP launched its Unity ’22 National Campaign in July 2022.

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