ELECTION 2020: Black America’s Vote | National

ELECTION 2020: Black America's Vote | National

New Black Voter Outreach Initiative Will Target 12 States, Run digital PSAs and Ads.

Sept. 17, 2020

A new major outreach initiative to get African American and other marginalized communities to the polls has been launched as the 2020 presidential election approaches.

The Black Voters Matter Fund says on its website that its intention is to increase voter registration, advocate for policies to expand voter access, develop election staff, candidates and training, and occasionally fund activities related to elections. 

This latest effort is aimed at getting voters engaged in 12 different states in the south and midwest through radio ads, digital PSAs and voter caravans.

“With just seven weeks until Election Day, it is more important than ever that voters remain active, informed, and engaged,” said LaTosha Brown, BVMF co-founder in a statement. “We are in the midst of a historic election year, one where Americans — particularly Black Americans — face the compounding crises of a global pandemic, record-high unemployment, police brutality, and rampant voter suppression. 

“But with the power of our votes,” she continued, “we can hold leaders accountable and create a path toward change in our communities. Today, we are launching this initiative to continue building that power and to help Black voters use the power of the polls this November.”

The ads began on Monday (Sept. 14), and will air until the day before the election, Nov. 2. The caravans will be led by 15-passenger vans and will drive around metropolitan areas in key states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The BVMF announced last week its partnership with BET and the National Urban League for National Black Voter Day on Friday (Sept. 18).


Black Religious Leaders Blast Trump Ad Showing Violent Protests With Biden In Church

Sept. 16, 2020

The leaders of an African American church in Wilmington, Del., say a Donald Trump campaign ad that shows footage Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden kneeling in a church sanctuary is racist and they want an apology for it.

Rev. Silvester S. Beaman, who is pastor of Bethel AME Church, which is shown in the digital ad spot told Religion News Service that it depicts church leaders and congregations as “thuggish rule breakers.”

It shows multiple videos of violent protests, then cuts to footage of Biden kneeling in Bethel AME in front of several church leaders, including Beaman. It ends with a visual that says, “stop Joe Biden and his rioters”

The footage is of Biden’s visit to Bethel in June after the death of George Floyd when massive protest began.

“The ad is overtly racist and offensive on numerous levels,” Beaman said. “It is a racist attack on the African American church, and because it was an attack on the Christian church, it should be offensive to every Christian and person of faith.”

The leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination sent a draft of a statement on the ad to RNS, also decrying the depiction.

“This ad subtly incites white terrorism against people of color and attacks the Black Church and Black people for refusing to bow down to the idol called white supremacy,” the statement said.