In an effort to get more Black women voters to the polls, the Higher Heights Leadership Fund, an organization looking to help achieve this goal, has launched #BlackWomenVote. This interactive toolkit provides women with the needed information (both online and offline) to become more informed and engaged voters.
The goal of the campaign is to use these next couple of weeks leading up to the November 4th midterm elections to encourage more black women to vote. According to the site, the largest voter turnout for black women was during the 2012 presidential election — representing almost 60 percent of black voters who went to the polls. However, this number pales in comparison to the 46.5 percent of African American women who voted in the 2010 midterms.
“Black women must show up to the polls if we truly want to create a more representative political body that will fight for pay equity, healthcare access, improved educational opportunities and other issues that affect Black women on a daily basis,” said Higher Heights co-founder Glynda C. Carr. “The forthcoming November 4th midterm provides us with the opportunity to begin addressing these issues and become more fully and consistently involved in the political process.”
According to a report, “The Status of Black Women in American Politics”, released by Higher Heights earlier this year, Black women are 7.4 percent of the U.S. population and 7.4 percent of the electorate. However, the data shows that there are only 14 Black women in Congress (2.6%), 2 Black women in statewide elected executive office, and 241 Black women in state legislatures (3.3%).
Want to do something to help change this? Follow the conversation on social media at #BlackWomenVote and check out the toolkit, which has resources like tips on creating a “Personal Voting Plan” and a “Knowing your Voter Status” guide, to a do-it-yourself “Sister-to-Sister Calling List,” as well as an "Activate your Online Network" checklist.
Ravelle Worthington is a writer living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @ravmo.