The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative to Host a Series of Events in 4 States; Register People to Vote Ahead of Juneteenth
The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today announced a series of Juneteenth events in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Tennessee. The organization, which includes Black women organizers and executive directors in the South, will register people to vote, host a series of educational events and actions, and talk to communities about the true meaning of liberation. The group released the following statement:
“Black people have been celebrating Juneteenth for decades, and we will do so again this year,” said Kendra Cotton, chief operating officer at the New Georgia Project. “But with increasing attacks on reproductive freedom, voting rights, education and healthcare, Black people are still not free. We will be free when we live in safe communities, when we no longer live in fear of police or white supremacist violence, when our women can have healthy babies without fear of poorer maternal outcomes, and when mass incarceration is eradicated.”
The New Georgia Project will host 50 Juneteenth and GOTV parties, with a goal of knocking on 45,000 doors and registering at least 300 people. Since there is a runoff election in Georgia, the organization is hoping to engage as many voters as possible ahead of the election.
“Over the past few weeks, several companies have sought to commercialize the Black freedom struggle, even as they fail to do the substantive work that would help Black people know and enjoy true freedom,” said Ashley K. Shelton, founder and president of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice. “If brands want to recognize Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, they need to do more to ensure freedom and liberation for Black people. They could begin by supporting the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) or refrain from supporting elected officials who pass restrictions on voting.”
The Power Coalition will host at least 10 events across Louisiana – in New Orleans, Baton Rouge Shreveport, River Parrish, Alexandria – including a Juneteenth parade, a Juneteenth Unity caravan, a Juneteenth Father’s Day event, a bail-out event to bail 10 to 15 people out of jail. They will also host a series of non-violence education activities and mobilize a bike and vote event. Through the events, the Power Coalition will attempt to register 500 people to vote.
“No one who claims to be an ally should put their feet up on this holiday but rather dig in their heels and challenge racism, classism, homophobia and bias wherever it exists,” said Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida and a leader with LIVE FREE Florida.
Faith in Florida will host 25 “Are We Really Liberated” Juneteenth events and listening sessions. They hope to register 2000 people to vote.
“If there is one thing advocates must understand, it is this: Victory is not perpetual,” said Tameka Greer, executive director of Memphis Artists for Change. “As we celebrate Juneteenth, we must be mindful of the many ways systemic racism seeks to roll back progress. Progress must be defended time and time again. Such is the case with criminal justice reforms. People need them, and the powerful resist them. Our work this Juneteenth, and every day, is to continue fighting for change and to not let powerful interests stop us.”
Memphis Artists for Change will host a “Camp Liberation” event and register 150 people to vote.