In 2020, Faith Action launched its Rise + Vote program, aimed at educating and mobilizing BIPOC voters — many of whom have long been shut out from the democratic process.
Rise + Vote is a comprehensive education, registration, and mobilization campaign that aims to make sure that forgotten voices are heard. Congregations are one of the most powerful organizing tools we have, and it is through our faith that we will move our brothers and sisters to act. Only when we overcome voter suppression, and everyone who has a right to vote exercises this power, the true results of our democracy will be seen.
While activism is not and cannot be limited to the ballot box, voting is one of the most important actions that we can take in order to hold our elected leaders accountable. Every year, millions of people across the country are unable to vote because they miss the registration deadline, don’t have a chance to update their registration information, or are unsure how to register but through Rise + Vote, we aim to empower voters and ensure they have access to this information and the electoral process.
“As people of faith, each of us must consider how we can best steer our nation toward a future where everyone can share in full democracy, and that means ensuring equal access to the vote for all,” said Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action. “There is a massive, organized and well-funded effort across the country to suppress the voices and the votes of our BIPOC brothers and sisters. We are fighting back against this injustice, and working to bring the collective power of these communities to the ballot box.”
We believe the real return on investment for Rise + Vote programs extends far beyond election day. Faith in Action’s research seeks to broaden the metrics our movement uses to assess voter mobilization programs and identify metrics that capture not only whether people turn out to vote, but also the extent to which they become full participants in our democracy. In other words: Does the way we invite people to participate in our democracy move them to reconsider their role in it?