Grants to grassroots organizations mobilize communities to exercise their right to vote and have an equal voice in government
MONTGOMERY, Al., ATLANTA, Ga.– Monday August 29th. In a virtual press conference, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced over 4.6 million in additional Vote Your Voice grants to 39 voter outreach organizations across the Deep South. The grants will support voting education, registration, and mobilization, especially among communities of color. These resources represent an addition to an earlier investment of over $11 million in two-year grants made last year.
This round of grants included Alabama Forward, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (Advancing Justice-Atlanta), Engage Miami Civic Foundation (Engage Miami), the Power Coalition, and Southern Echo, all of whom were represented in the press conference.
“With the recent wave of unprecedented attacks on civil rights and liberties that disproportionately target communities of color, women and people with disabilities, it is more important than ever to defend our right to vote and make our voices heard,” said Lecia Brooks, Chief of Staff and Culture for SPLC. “These grants will empower communities to get out to the polls, exercise their freedom to vote, and stand up for their right to an equal voice in government.”
“The bottom line is that everyone deserves a fair shot at a decent life. If you are with the Community Foundation in that basic tenet, then you join the Foundation in teaching our children and all our neighbors that the right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy.,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “It is by educating each other on the tenets of democracy, engaging in civic discourse and ultimately electing officials to represent and advocate for the things that we deem most important that citizens catalyze progress and change in our communities."
“Alabama Forward is excited to use these Vote Your Voice grants to empower communities, especially young Alabamians, to make their voice heard through their vote,” said Evan Milligan executive director of Alabama Forward. “Through community organizing we hope to one day create a system where everyone can have an equal voice in government to bring forward the needs and concerns of their communities, and to have those needs met.”
“At Advancing Justice-Atlanta, we believe that all Georgians should play a role in shaping our collective future. That must include ensuring equal access to the ballot,” said Phi Nguyen, executive director of AAJC. “We are committed to using Vote Your Voice grants to ensure all Georgians can advocate for themselves, their families, and communities.”
“An equal voice in government through an equal opportunity to vote represents the best way communities can advocate for our needs and interests on issues like local infrastructure, access to healthcare, and education,” said Rebecca Pelham, executive director of Engage Miami. “That is why it is so important we utilize these help communities get to the polls and make their voice heard.”
“Voting is our most powerful tool to advocate for our communities, since it determines who will represent us, who will allocate investment into which communities, and who will respond to our needs,” said Ashley Shelton, president and CEO of the Power Coalition. “Vote Your Voice grants will help ensure communities in Louisiana and across the South have an equal voice in government, and thus, equitable access to resources and opportunities.”
“For generations, Black communities in Mississippi have endured discrimination and hardship with higher rates of poverty and less access to education and healthcare,” said Brenda Hyde, deputy director of Southern Echo. “Mobilizing our communities to vote will be central for rolling back these inequalities.”
Please find more information on the Vote Your Voice grantees and their work on voting rights through our featured story on Alabama Forward HERE:
The SPLC will release a series of stories featuring grantees from states across the Deep South, with a new feature on its website every two weeks until the election.
Vote Your Voice is a partnership between the SPLC and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to increase voter registration, participation and civic engagement among communities of color in the Deep South. Vote Your Voice supports voter registration and mobilization, voting rights advocacy and voting rights restoration activities. Vote Your Voice also is strengthening field capacity through data and fundraising support and the testing of effective voter engagement strategies. Additional Vote Your Voice information may be found here: https://www.splcenter.org/vote-your-voice and here: https://cfgreateratlanta.org/togetheratl/power-and-leadership/