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Oct 26, 2012

Unity: Protect Our Vote Sundays Launch October 28, 2012 Civil Rights and Black Church Leaders Join Forces to Protect Black Voters

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) has partnered with the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC), National Action Network, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), Samuel DeWitt Proctor Project and A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) to organize the Unity: Protect Our Vote Sundays on October 28th and November 4th, 2012.

The Unity: Protect Our Vote Sundays Initiative is a core component of the NCBCP Unity ’12 Campaign’s vote protection and assistance efforts. “ The Unity: Protect Our Vote Sundays goals are to mobilize Black faith leaders in a Call to Action to Black denominational and congregational leaders to take up arms to mobilize and protect their congregations from voter suppression tactics across the country by providing them with tools and information to protect their vote through Black Youth Vote, Black Women’’ said Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, NCBCP.

“The Black community is facing one of the greatest challenges ever against malicious schemes and laws deliberately aimed at stopping and discouraging our people from exercising their right to vote. Only a unified effort by the Black Church can protect the vote won through the blood, sweat and tears of our people over the years. Therefore, CNBC is proud to take the lead to engage our members who are the leadership of the nine historically Black denominations to participate in Unity: Protect Our Vote Sundays,” said Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chair, CNBC.

CNBC national members include: the African Methodist Episcopal Church; African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; Church of God In Christ; Full Gospel Baptist Church, Church Fellowship International; National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., International; National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Chair, National African American Network, shares, “We are arming pastors and lay leaders with a Unity: Protect Our Vote Sunday Tool Kit that includes: 1) a church bulletin template; 2) a Protect Our Vote Prayer which we are asking pastors to appeal to their members to pray every day beginning Sunday, October 28th through Election Day, November 6 to invoke the power and protection of God over their members and those in the community against hindrances to their right to vote, Further, we are providing ‘Seven Things You Need to Do to Protect Your Vote’, and Talking Points for Pastors.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL) and Election Protection (EP) are providing voter protection tools for Unity: Protect Our Vote Sunday, including its national nonpartisan Election Protection National Hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE and a Free Mobile App to download and use in case voters are blocked in their effort to vote or have questions (Text OURVOTE to 90975). “As we have done for over 10 years, the Election Protection Coalition will be there for all voters to safeguard their fundamental right to vote and have that vote counted on Election Day,” said Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Finally, as part of the UNITY: Protect Our Vote Sundays Campaign, “we are asking denominational leaders, pastors, clergy, lay leaders and attorneys in their congregation to volunteer to serve as Poll Monitors in our massive effort to mobilize an ‘Army of Poll Monitors’ to be a moral presence at the polls against efforts to intimidate Black voters,” said Jacqui Burton, President, CNBC.

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