Activist and Women’s March Co-Chair, Tamika D. Mallory was joined by Senator Nina Turner, President, and CEO of National Urban League, Marc Morial, Artist, Mysonne, and more for the “Power to the Polls” event in Washington, D.C. The event highlighted voter suppression and the importance of the fight to help those formerly incarcerated earn their voting rights back.

“We wanted to make sure that “Power to the Polls” is relatable,” says Mallory. “And that it is on the ground and really reaching out to those people who are really most impacted in our community.”

Senator Turner’s passionate speech on voting rights addressed the history of voter disenfranchisement– which goes back to the era of the Jim Crow Laws. Turner says locking up African American men and women at higher rates wasn’t an accident, it was done on purpose.  But now we can take matters into our own hands and bring change.

‘We have to demand some stuff, no one is going to give us anything,” says Turner. “We are liberated to the point that we are liberated to this day in 2018 because somebody made a demand…it wasn’t giving.”

“So, all of us have a ministry and part of that ministry is liberation. The African-American struggle –from the time we hit the shores by force– was that of liberation.”

Every vote counts and the fight continues to give citizens who’ve been counted out, the chance to exercise their right to vote.

Check out the video for more highlights of the 2018 “Power to the Polls” event.