The Electoral Justice Project, an offshoot of the Movement for Black Lives, launched in October by activists Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd, and Rukia Lumumba and dedicated to increasing the Black vote, is only getting started.
In its first campaign, #WakandaTheVote, the initiative successfully registered over 1,000 voters during the opening weekend of Black Panther. The intention is to not only increase the numbers of people of color who are actively participating in the government they want to see, but to advance the rights of Black Americans through action and information.
Making an impression
The movie-themed project caught the attention of politicians and organizers nationwide, including people like Sen. Kamala Harris; Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NBC News host Joy Reid and others.
The activists were so satisfied with what they did in their initial campaign, that now they’re returning to the theaters once more to do the same thing for audiences going to see director Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time as well.
“The state of our democracy must be an inclusive conversation because it impacts us at every age,” co-creator Kayla Reed told Blavity. “We plan to register parents, teachers, babysitters while also exemplifying how young people can be engaged in the political process.”
The right situation
Realizing that both movies would draw large crowds of African-Americans, they found it was the perfect opportunity to use it as an educational tool during a monumental entertainment moment.
“The goal of the EJP is to create mechanisms for everyone to step into being a change agent to make democracy more accessible,” said Reed. “It’s really Black people having a conversation about the importance of using all the tools at our disposal to bring about transformation in our communities.”
During the previous campaign’s screenings, the group reportedly created more than 120 registration drives and there are still several more to take place leading up towards the end of the month of March. #WrinkleTheVote is anticipating the same success.
Moviegoers can find out how to get involved with the #Wrinklethevote initiative by simply texting “Warrior” to 91990 for instructions.