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Voter Suppression: JUDGES MATTER Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!

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Black Women's Agenda Launches Get Out The Vote Initiative

Written by Featured Organization on 08 October 2012.

Collaborating Women's Organizations – Serving Over One Million – Pledge Support For Agenda's "Four for 4" Call-to-Action

As the 2012 campaigns head into the final weeks, The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) announced an ambitious initiative to get out the vote that will be powered by the members of 18 National Collaborating Women's Organizations. "Four for 4" – Four People, Four Votes, Four Years and Foresight – will engage the members of participating sororities, civic and faith-based groups in raising awareness, educating voters and ensuring that at least four people, including themselves, vote on Election Day.

With some national polls showing candidates in a virtual dead heat, who votes and how they vote may very well determine the outcome of the 2012 elections. In 2008, two million more Blacks voted than in the 2004 election. Black women turned out to vote at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic or gender group, and for the first time, young Black voters had the highest turnout, as compared with other ethnic groups.1 This year however, restrictions on voter registration drives, legislation requiring photo identification at the polls, and the mobilization of a network of conservative groups to challenge what they describe as voter fraud, could potentially hinder some voters. A general malaise, brought on by a slumbering economy and persistently high unemployment, could also adversely impact voter turnout: A Gallup Poll conducted May 1- July 10, 2012 indicated that while the percentage of Blacks who say they will definitely vote is similar to the national average, it is lower than it was in 2004 and 2008.2

As an organization dedicated to securing, advancing and protecting the rights and well-being of Black women and their families, the BWA is encouraging its constituency to continue to participate in our nation's democracy by exercising its right to vote. "Four for 4 is about empowerment," explains BWA President Gwainevere Hess. "We all want to see our country move forward, however our two presidential candidates have very different ideas about how to accomplish that. Whatever one's choice, voting is an investment in America's future. It's our way of making our voices heard."

Collaborating organizations that have pledged their support for the "Four for 4" initiative include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, Inc.; Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.; Jack & Jill of America, Inc.; Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc.; Mocha Moms, Inc.; National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc.; National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women's Clubs, Inc.; National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.; National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; The Girl Friends, Inc.; The Links, Inc.; Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.; Women's Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Founded in 1977 in Washington, DC, the Black Women's Agenda is a national non-profit organization that generates awareness and support for issues affecting Black women worldwide. Through the development of a social priorities agenda, it facilitates discussions that promote effective policies and meaningful change. For more information on "Four for 4" or the Black Women's Agenda, please visit www.bwa-inc.org.

1 Roberts, Sam. "2008 Surge in Black Voters Nearly Erased Racial Gap." New York Times, July 21, 2009.

2 www.gallup.com/poll/155711/Young-Voters-Turnout-Intentions-Lagging.aspx

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