7 Black-Led Activists Groups to Pay Attention to (and support) this Election Season
Election season is heating up in Michigan and organizations across the state are mobilizing, hosting talks, and preparing campaigns. Below are 7 black-led organizations that focus on activities to increase voter registration, education, and engagement by focusing on the issues that affect underserved populations. Nicholas Buckingham, who is the Campaign Director and one of four founding members of Michigan Liberation says, “Those who are the closest to the problem are also closest to the solution, but farthest from resources and power.”
1. Michigan Liberation
Charge: Founding members, all of whom are formerly incarcerated, wanted to see the voices of those directly impacted to take the lead. Today, members of Michigan Liberation train and develop formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones to lead canvassing efforts to affect change in legislation and policy. Current canvassing efforts are in Wayne, Oakland, and Kalamazoo Counties
Best Known For: Providing major influence in the 2018 elections
Current Ask: Financial Support
2. Ypsi Can I Share?
Charge: After founder Gayle Summerhill met the late Congressman John Lewis, she was inspired to help fill in the gap to empower voters City of Ypsilanti, Ypsi Township, Pittsfield Township, and Superior Township.
Best Known For: Empowerment Cards and Talking Ballot
Current Ask: Volunteers and Donations
3. Interfaith Council on Peace and Justice
Charge: ICPJ centers racial and economic justice in addressing the root causes of violence from oppression, poverty, environmental devastation, patriarchy, and war and believe that relationships that individuals and communities build through learning, mobilizing, organizing, and growing together create the foundation for co-liberation, abundance, and dignity of all life and our planet. Current directors are Desirae Simmons and Eleanore Ablan-Owen.
Best Known For: Vote Caucus, Candidate Forums, Compassionate Community Conversations, workshops and training, Tools and Resources.
Current Ask: Administrative and social media interns, program and office volunteers, and financial donations.
4. Black Voters Matter*
Charge: Founders, located in Atlanta, wanted to help grass roots organizations across the nation with Voter Registration, Getting out the Vote (GOTV) efforts, policy advocacy and Organizational Development/Training. Currently, Black Voters Matter has a presence in 11 states including Michigan. Several organizations and events in Washtenaw County have received or are currently receiving resources from the Black Voters Matter Fund.
“We are always connecting with grass roots organizations across Michigan in the form of mini-grants, tools and resources to do phone banking, canvassing, social media, texting campaigns, swag, volunteers, and technical support,” says Stephanie Williams, the State Organizer Manager.
Best Known For: #1M4VotingRights, Empower App, and #1MStrong 1 million to take the pledge to vote campaigns
Current Needs: Job Openings, Volunteer Positions, and Donations
5. The Detroit Association of Black Organization
Charge: Uplifting, unifying, and empowering Detroit’s African American community through various programs, initiatives, and events. Current membership includes over 130 organizations. Founded by Horace Sheffield, III
Best Known For: Holding spaces for Detroit Community groups and Community Unity around issues including understanding political concerns.
Current Ask: Volunteers
6. Justice for Black Girls
Charge: Expand the knowledge of how US systems of power respond to and perpetuate the abuse of black girls. Founded by Brianna Baker.
Best Known For: Freedom Fighter’s Fund which was born after Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau, a 19 year old activist from Tallahassee, Florida was slain in 2020. In the past two years, $90,000 in mini-grants have been awarded to budding activists across the country for lodging, safety, and other immediate needs.
Current Ask: Donations for Young Black Girl Activists (Freedom Fighter’s Fund) and Volunteers for Administrative Support, Social Media and Content Creation, Research and Education Team
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/justice4blackgirls/
7. Fair Fight Action
Charge: Founded by Stacey Abrams after election misconduct by her opponent in the Georgian gubernatorial race, this organization was born to Promote fair elections across the country. Chianti Steward-Reid is the current Executive Director.
Best Known For: Voters rights and Advocacy, Fairness in Elections
Current Ask: Financial Support
Social Media Handle: @fairfightaction