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Black Church Plans Voter Initiative

Last week’s march to Selma, Ala. to address proposed discriminative voting laws sparked another round of discussion with the Black church. A coalition was formed and led by Baltimore mega-church pastor Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant who announced the Empowerment Movement project. The initiative is to register one million Black Christian voters on Easter Sunday; leaders chose the holiday as the goal date because—as many of us know—church attendance often doubles that day.

Under-registered African-Americans are an important demographic in the upcoming election, and the coalition hopes to register at least 20 people at each of the 500,000 churches involved. "They need to see the Black church doing more than raising money on Easter, they need to see the Black church raising awareness," said Rev. Steven Green, the 19-year-old Morehouse student chosen to lead the youth outreach. "Voting is important, especially for our generation because we have never seen a time like this, with so many assaults on a president.”

If successful, will this effort make enough of a dent to swing the upcoming election in President Obama's favor? Also, if the church gets people to register on Easter, will they also be responsible for ushering people to the polls in November?

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