The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

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Oct 19, 2022

NATIONAL COALITION ON BLACK CIVIC PARTICIPATION KICKS OFF SOUTHERN SWING OF ‘POWER OF THE BALLOT’ COMEDY TOUR AND GOTV ORGANIZING TO ENERGIZE BLACK VOTERS IN ORLANDO

Washington, DC (October 19, 2022) – Last Thursday, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), in partnership with its state affiliate, the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Florida Black Women’s Roundtable & Florida Black Youth Vote---brought its Unity ’22 “Power of the Ballot” Evening of Comedy and  GOTV Rally to the South, starting in Orlando, FL. The Unity ’22 National GOTV Tour is being organized 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 NCBCP Unity ’22 NationalGOTV 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 in Atlanta at the NCBCP 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 took place at the Majestic Event Center in Orlando. preceded by a GOTV Rally featuring Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and National Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable; Salandra Benton, Executive Director & Convener, Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation/FL Black Women’s Roundtable, Xcellence Glenn, Florida Black Youth Vote Coordinator, Christina Cue, Unity 22 National Campaign Manager, NCBCP and other Florida community leaders. 
 
The evening of comedy was hosted by Meshelle “The Indie-Mom” of Comedy, and included comedic performances by BPhlat, Erin Jackson and music by DJ King. 
 

**Given the impact of Hurricane Ian, the Unity ’22 GOTV Organizing Weekend in Florida has been rescheduled for November 4 – 6 in Daytona/Volusia and Brevard County and will include disaster relief support to residents in need.
 
NCBCP Unity ’22 GOTV Tour national and FL state partners include: Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, FL Black Women’s Roundtable, FL Black Youth Vote, A. Philip Randolph Institute, All About the Ballots, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, Inc., HUGS Community Services, Family Values @ Work Action, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, 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, “Time and again, we have seen that Black voter participation in the sunshine state is a critical factor in determining the outcome of elections –whether it be for ballot initiatives or candidates. Our ‘Power of the Ballot’ GOTV Comedy Tour and GOTV activations will serve 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 will be 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. I can’t give enough praise to our affiliates, partners and volunteers in Florida for their hard work and GOTV efforts.”
 

Ms. Salandra Benton, Convener of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation stated, “ Everything that we love is on the ballot this election. Florida is a battleground state where the Black vote is a decisive vote. That’s why we must continue flexing our political power and fighting for the issues that elevate our community. We don’t just do that every two years, or every four years before an election – we do it 365 days a year by showing up in the neighborhoods, churches, community centers, schools and senior centers where Black civic and cultural life is shaped. Every election has consequences on our people –good and bad– and it’s up to us to remind the next generation of civic leaders that when we show up together, we win!
 

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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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