For Immediate Release: September 20, 2022
Contact: Heather Cabral, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-550-6880
Many of these events are meant to combat the impact of white nationalism in civic engagement
Washington – Today, Faith in Action hosted a National Voter Registration Day press conference to highlight the important voter registration efforts happening across their network in the lead up to this year’s midterm elections. Through its Rise + Vote campaign, many of Faith in Action’s nearly 50 states and city-based federations are registering, engaging, and empowering voters ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections. Clergy and organizers are working to combat voter suppression and highlight what is at the root of the more than 30 pieces of legislation making it harder to vote that have passed across the country since the 2020 election – white supremacy.
As a multi-faith organization, clergy from across the country participating in Tuesday’s press conference will highlight how white supremacy impacts elections, and specifically how white Christian nationalism is increasingly influencing voters. Faith in Action federation leaders will also join the call to talk about how they’re countering voter suppression in their local communities and their planned voter engagement, such as Swerve the Purge in Memphis, Souls to the Polls in Florida, and a statewide voter registration bus tour in Pennsylvania.
Andrea Marta, chief strategy officer, Faith in Action
“Since 2012 Faith in Action has had over 5 million conversations with voters across the country focusing on Black and brown voters in communities that are not only ignored by political campaigns but also communities that are targeted by decision makers that use voter suppression as a weapon that steals the ballots right out of the hands of our loved ones. On a day like today, National Voter Registration Day we are reminded that Voting rights are sacred, that faith leaders, leaders of color and others have fought tirelessly to bring the right to vote to our communities AND we have witnessed an egregious assault on Black and Brown Americans’ access to the ballot box. We must and will do our part to call out the white supremacy and white Christian Nationalism that are the driving forces behind these attacks and deeply influencing voters.”
Rev. Dr. Mark Tyler, Senior Pastor, Mother Bethel AME and Co-Director, LIVE FREE campaign, POWER Interfaith (Pennsylvania) “What’s at stake this year is really white supremacy. We view this not only as an existential threat, but a physical threat. The Freedom Express [Voting Rights Bus Tour] will be used to go across the state to spread a new story of Pennsylvania where everyone in this state can survive and thrive.”
Tameka Greer, executive director, Memphis Artists for Change
“In Memphis over 100,000 voters have already been purged from the voting rolls and more are being purged as we head toward the midterm election. We are here to protect democracy so we’re reaching out to that 100,000. We’ve already spoken to 5000 people and knocked on thousands more doors in zip codes with high incidents of purged voters. The more our right to vote is suppressed the harder we fight. We do not come to debate what we know. The nation whose precious pledge ends saying, “with liberty and justice for all.” It’s the “all” for us! We are resolved to make sure that those who have been historically and systemically excluded from “the all” not only are represented but that they are present, heard and responded to like the rest of the “all”! My team in Memphis is hosting events all week to engage and empower voters”
Pastor Rhonda Thomas, executive director, Faith in Florida
“We are doing voting registration in 35 counties, 20 of which are rural. We have been attacked on every end just by doing voting registration…The Florida governor has established a voting police department that has been established in areas with mostly Black and brown voters, so with that fight back, we will continue to push and get people out to vote. Faith in Florida is hosting over 100 Souls to the Polls events across Florida. We are doing whatever we have to do to get people out to vote. This will be the biggest and baddest souls to the polls we’ve ever hosted just because. We will make a difference and we will make history in not only how many people register, but how many people show up to vote.”