News & Media

June 8, 2023

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; (202) 417-0171  

Alabama Clergy Celebrate SCOTUS Ruling Protecting Black Voters Across the State
Leaders with Faith in Action Alabama stressed the faithful command to defend voting rights

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Clergy leaders with Faith In Action Alabama (FIAAL), a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that works to advance systemic change across the state, are celebrating today’s Supreme Court decision in Allen v. Milligan as a major win for voting rights and racial justice. 

“Today, Black Alabamians and all people who believe in equal access to the ballot box are breathing a sigh of relief,” said The Rev. Dr. A. B. Sutton Jr., board chairman of Faith in Action Alabama. “I’ve seen and experienced firsthand the barriers put in place to make it harder for Black people to vote, especially across the South. While there is still so much work to be done to strengthen voting rights in Alabama, we can take some comfort that the highest Court recognizes the importance of protecting a multiracial democracy.” 

“As a Black pastor in the south, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of faith-based organizing,” said FIAAL clergy leader Bishop George Crenshaw of the Alabama-Florida district of the AME Zion Church. “This decision is built on years of organizing – especially by Black voting rights advocates – and proves that when we sound our moral chorus, we can deliver justice for all.” 

“We’ve long been pushing for fair and just access at the ballot box,” said FIAAL clergy leader Bishop Harry L. Seawright of the 9th district of the AME Church. “While Black voters remain in a continuous fight for political inclusion, this ruling is a step in the right direction and proves that faith-based advocacy can drive progress.”

“There is no need to mince words: Black voters have been systematically targeted in an effort to reduce our power in this state,” said Onoyemi Williams, deputy director of Faith in Action Alabama. “We simply will not allow it. Our democracy is on the line and we have to make sure that the right to vote that our ancestors fought for continues to be there for generations to come.”

“This victory would not be possible without the long history and legacy of civil rights work in Alabama, and we all know the role that faith communities have played in that,” added Andrea Marta, chief strategy officer, Faith in Action. “The 1965 Voting Rights Act exists today largely due to Black voters standing up against an unjust system in Alabama almost 60 years ago, and it is only right that the Supreme Court would ensure it remains the law of the land today. We will not let the work of those who have gone before us be in vain. Today, we breathe a sigh of relief that this law was seen for the racist agenda that it is, tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and continue advocating that everyone in this country who wants the right to vote receives it.” 

Since its founding, FIAAL has organized across the state to protect voting rights, especially in Black and Brown communities. Most recently, the group gathered in front of the Alabama State House to advocate for voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals

If you are interested in speaking further with Faith in Action Alabama, please contact Manisha Sunil at and (202) 417-0171, or Daniel Schwartz, executive director of FIAAL, at and (205) 451-3352.