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15 August, 2021

Black Voters Matter: Think National, Act Local.

icon Black Voters Matter,Community Organizing
Black Voters Matter mobilizes voters in Kalamazoo through local events organized with Mothers of Hope

Black Voters Matter builds community power by understanding and supporting local infrastructure. It works with local partners to expand its outreach nationwide.

How do you attract people in a community? Fun events with live music, free food and T-shirts works. A recent Black Voters Matter - Mothers of Hope community organizing event in Kalamazoo shows how technology is applied to engage and energize more voters. The team used short codes, QR Codes and texts to collect details on the attendees, begin a dialog and also encourage them to invite their friends to join as well. Onboard, engage and empower.

Building power through local events

Black Voters Matter organizes local events to energize voters.

Attract. Onboard. Mobilize.

Black Voters Matter organizes local events designed to appeal to residents. These events are promoted on social media, word-of-mouth and through local partners. Locals register by texting WEMATTER to 797979 or by scanning a QR Code designed for the event which generates the text. Participants' contact details are recorded and they are sent an invitation to register 5 of their friends and also connect with Black Voters Matter on Facebook. The whole process is automated and takes a few seconds.

Building power through community organizing with local events
Scan the QR Code yourself to see how simple the process is!

Tech enabled community organizing

Black Voters Matter uses QR Codes, Short Codes and texts to onboard and mobilize voters.

Technical resources

Bit.ly - a free app to create shortened abbreviations and monitor web traffic
QR Code Generator - a free app to generate QR codes which can launch texts, emails and direct respondents to websites. DemLabs helped Mothers of Hope generated the QR Code for this event. It automatically opens the texting app on a phone, fills in the message "WEMATTER" and enters "797979" as the short code to text. All a person then has to do is hit send!


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Black Voters Matter

Black Voters Matter goal is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” It has five core beliefs:

- The key to effective civic engagement and community power is understanding, respecting, and supporting local infrastructure.
- Black Voters Matter not only on election day, but on the 364 days between election days as well. This means we must support individuals and organizations that are striving to obtain social justice throughout the year.
- Black Voters Matter *everywhere*, including rural counties and smaller cities/towns that are often ignored by candidates, elected officials, political parties, and the media.
- In order for Black voters to matter, we must utilize authentic messaging which speaks to our issues, connects with our hopes, and affirms our humanity.
- The leadership, talent, and commitment demonstrated by Black women, in particular, must receive recognition and, more importantly, *investment* in order to flourish and multiply.

Black Voters Matter uses buses in its community organizing events

Mothers of Hope

Mothers of Hope empowers and strengthens women, families, and communities to rise above the effects of substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequities. It offers a premier model for culturally sensitive programs that are successful in restoring individuals, families, and communities impacted by substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequities.

It belongs to the Black Women’s Roundtable is an empowerment program from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a nonprofit organization that works to engage, educate, organize and mobilize African Americans of all ages to participate in our democracy. The Coalition works to expand, strengthen, and empower Black communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition. Follow the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

TakeAway: Use local, community-oriented events and technology to onboard and empower more people to vote.

Deepak
DemLabs

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