Faith in Action federations have pledged to support the campaign aiming to register one million voters.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Today, Faith in Action launched its 2022 Rise + Vote at Liberty Hall in Philadelphia ahead of the 2022 mid-term election season. Faith and city leaders gathered with community members to announce the campings goals, including organizing across the nation to ensure equitable access to the ballot box, especially for Black and Brown people targeted by oppressive voting legislation in dozens of states. This year’s Rise + Vote campaign highlights the voter engagement efforts of Faith in Action’s networks and the impact that elections have on voting rights, immigration policy, and racial justice more broadly. The launch kicked off the real work that begins now.
“As we head toward a contentious midterm election – we’re seeing the backlash of record turnout among Black and Brown voters. State after state, laws are being passed to make it harder to vote,” said Rev. Nicole Barnes, program director, Faith in Action. “Just this week, Georgia has decided to allow the state-wide voting rights trial to combat the oppressive exact-match law. Our colleagues, clergy, leaders and communities will build electoral power across this country, through knocking on our neighbor’s doors, calling them on the phone and registering them to vote.”
Denise Lopez, integrated civic engagement coordinator, Faith in Action reflected on the tragic massacre in Buffalo during her remarks commenting the “launch of Faith in Action’s Rise + Vote has more importance after the weekend’s tragic events because we know that what drives fear for white supremacist, is knowing that Black and Brown people are building power.” She continued, “We’re building power to push back against the racist systems that oppress us – and that starts at the ballot box.”
Faith in Action hosted an organizing training session for 100 leaders and set Rise and Vote’s voter engagement goals for the 2022 midterm elections as part of the launch.
Members from the local Faith in Action federation, POWER Interfaith, were present to share their support and detail why they chose to partake in the organization’s mission. “I want to advocate for myself, my people, and all who have been left behind,” said Trena Scott, civic engagement advocate, POWER Interfaith. “I was drawn to POWER Interfaith because I know my vote is multiplied…Restricting voting rights by narrowing access to the ballot disproportionately impacts my community. We need change and we are the change that we need.”
Faith in Action hopes to uplift its federations’ commitment to midterm general elections across the country by building a coalition among allies and the movement.
Omar Sabir, City Commissioner of the County of Philadelphia, shared his support for the launch during the event stating, “We have to build up our enthusiasm about voting! Because all around the country, they have enthusiasm about stopping us from voting!”
Rev Phyllis Harris, associate minister at Mt. Pisgah, AME Church-Philadelphia, amplified this message by calling out the systemic inequities pertaining to voting dating back to slavery. “We are still experiencing the pendulum of the legacy of slavery that is continuing to move. And we understand that slavery was and still is about political and economic power,” she said “In 2020, we had a record voter turnout of Black and Brown Americans, so we’re not surprised now that some of our lawmakers have taken action against voting access… We must advocate for justice in voting. Our faith is leading us to work tirelessly for change.”
About Rise + Vote
In 2020, Faith Action launched its Rise + Vote program to educate and mobilize 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, will the true results of our democracy 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 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.