Grants to grassroots student organizations support voter education, registration and mobilization for young people across the South.
MONTGOMERY, Ala., ATLANTA — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced a further expansion to their Vote Your Voice initiative by granting student organizations $ $84,450. The following organizations received grants through the Vote Your Voice College Pilot:
- Alabama A&M University: $22,000 to the Alabama A&M University Civic Engagement Team to recruit resident assistants (RAs) who will help students check voter registration status and register to vote.
- Emory University: $10,450 to Mu Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to increase voter outreach and registration in Cobb, Dekalb and Fulton Counties.
- Jackson State University: $14,000 to plan and host civic engagement activities for the student body and surrounding public.
- Louisiana State University: $13,000 to the Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center for education, public information and voter registration for LSU students and members of the surrounding community.
- Southern University and A&M College: $25,000 grant to the Southern University-Baton Rouge Alpha Phi Alpha – Beta Sigma and Beta Iota Lambda Chapters in partnership with the Southern University Chapter of the NAACP to increase voter turnout among the student body and surrounding communities.
“These grants ensure that young changemakers are equipped to empower those around them and stand up for their community’s rights,” said Fred McBride, senior policy advisor with Voting Rights at the SPLC. “By helping their peers exercise their fundamental right to vote, young advocates from diverse grassroots organizations are laying the groundwork for a brighter future in the Deep South.”
“The right to vote is foundational to our democracy,” said Ayana Gabriel, vice president of community impact for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “It is through voting that citizens make known their wishes for their communities, their families and their futures. The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is pleased to partner with SPLC on the Vote Your Voice College Pilot grants in working to ensure that our neighbors understand and appreciate the privilege of the vote and of living in a democratic society.”
“Young activists are on the frontlines of change, and often work with few resources. Sometimes, all they have is pure grit,” said Monica Clarke, service and learning coordinator at Alabama A&M University. “Vote Your Voice funding will be key to help us mobilize and engage new voters.”
“Youth play a critical role in shaping our collective future,” said Malcolm Phillips, president of the Mu Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Emory University. “By uniting our collective voice and making sure we have equal access to the ballot, we can advocate for the changes our communities need.”
“Students are the future, so they deserve an equal voice in decision making,” said Dr. Byron D’Andra Orey, PhD, professor, department of political science at Jackson State University. “We want to ensure students and young members of our communities have equal access to the ballot to make their voices heard in shaping a future they believe in.”
“The SPLC and the Community Foundation believe in us, our work and our abilities,” said Percy Jackson, director of the Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center at Louisiana State University. “With their help, we can build a movement to elevate young voices across the south to elect representatives who understand our communities and advocate for our needs.”
“This is a critical moment for our nation’s voting rights. More than ever, we need to stand up and make our voices heard through the power of our vote,” said Dr. Derrick Warren with Southern University. “We will use these grants to create a powerful movement that reaches and engages our peers to help defend and protect our civil and voting rights.”
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. Additionally, Vote Your Voice is strengthening field capacity through data and fundraising support and the testing of effective voter engagement strategies. On August 29, the SPLC and CFGA announced in a joint virtual press conference that 39 organizations would receive $4.6 million in additional grants. All grants will be used to mobilize voters in the Deep South, expand voter registration and increase voter education for young people. These resources represent an addition to an earlier investment of over $11 million in two-year grants, made last year. These grants to student organizations represent yet another expansion of the Vote Your Voice program.