Women's History Month 2017

The Voting Rights Alliance & The National Organization of Women Present:

A Facebook Live Event Panel Discussion on Voter Fraud:

"Voting Rights: A Look at Voter Suppression in the US"

Voting rights across the country are under attack. From voter ID laws to racial gerrymandering, there has been an increase in the systematic disenfranchisement of millions of people in the United States. President Donald Trump has repeatedly leveled an unsubstantial and controversial charge of voter fraud by millions during the 2016 Presidential Elections.  Indeed, he has promised to issue an Executive Order establishing an investigatory commission on voter fraud to be led by Vice President Mike Pence. However, these charges of voter fraud distract from the real plague of the 2016 Presidential elections: voter suppression.

In 2016, our nation's most vulnerable voters encountered innumerable obstacles attempting to vote during the primaries, early voting, and the general election.  Throughout the nation, states decreased polling sites resulting in horrendous long lines.  A number of states failed to process voter registrations in time for the elections. Electronic poll books and optical scan failures resulted in thousands upon thousands of voters being unable to vote due to long lines. Several lawsuits were able to defeat voter suppression laws in North Carolina and Texas due to racial discrimination. Still in many states, the impact of new Voter ID laws were harmful to Latino, African American and low income voters. Despite these realities, states are pursuing more and more draconian voter suppression measures as emergency legislation under the guise of voter suppression. 

March 15, 2017 at 5:30 P.M. edt., the  National Organization of Women (NOW), in partnership with the Voting Rights Alliance, hosted a very special Facebook Live event on the state of voting rights and what you can do to fight back.

Panelists included: 

  • NOW President, Terry O'Neill;
  • Transformative Justice Coalition President and Voting Rights Alliance Convener, Barbara Arnwine;
  • The Reverend Lennox Yearwood of Hip Hop Caucus; and,
  • District of Columbia NOW President, Monica Weeks.

The Facebook Live event was broadcasted live from NOW's Facebook page at Facebook.com/NationalNow.

Click Here for more information about the event and to share the event's page with your Facebook friends!

Click Here to be taken to NOW's Facebook Page

Black History Month 2017 #VRABlackHistory Series

In honor of Black History Month, the Voting Rights Alliance created a historic archive of the legacies and stories of the heroes, sheroes, and events in the fight for Black suffrage. Each day of Black History Month 2017, the Voting Rights Alliance shared a new calendar article, honoring a person, organization, or event, from over 5 centuries that forever changed the movement for the right to vote for African Americans and all Americans.

We shared each article on social media underneath the hashtag #VRABlackHistory.
Follow us on Twitter (@VRAmatters) to see the series' tweets. We also emailed these articles out every morning of February 2017.

Below is an interactive calendar of the entire #VRABlackHistoryMonth series:

How to use our interactive calendar:

1. Please click on the left arrow to navigate to the month of February 2017.

For Desktop Users: Hover over each day to see a short description of the article we honored on that day. Click on any day to be taken to the article for that specific day. 

For Mobile Users: Tap once on a gray-shaded day to see the article description. Click on the title to be taken of the description to be taken to that specific day's article.

Please note: There are many other people who we would have loved to include in this calendar; however, we had to omit people, organizations, and events because of the amount of days in February. Some of the people, organizations, and events omitted include: Julius Caesar Chappelle, Colin Powel, The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 46th Annual Legislative Conference (Sept. 14, 2016), Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Barack Obama, Diane Nash, Ella Baker, Freedom Rides of 1960, and others.

Below are the people, events, or organizations that we have recognized in honor of the 2017 Black History Month:

  • Feb. 1st: An Early Fight for Black Suffrage (1723-1735)

  • Feb 2nd: Prince Hall (1735-1807)

  • Feb. 3rd: Paul Cuffe Sr. (1759-1817)

  • Feb 4th: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

  • Feb 5th: Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

  • Feb. 6th: Robert Purvis (1810-1898)

  • Feb. 7th: Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

  • Feb 8th: Black Soldiers in the Civil War (1861-1865)

  • Feb. 9th: Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893)

  • Feb. 10th: Anna Julia Cooper (1858-19964)

  • Feb. 11th: The Reconstruction Congress of 1867

  • Feb. 12th: The Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

  • Feb 13th: The Federal Elections Bill (1890)

  • Feb. 14th: George H. White (1852-1918)

  • Feb. 15th: Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)

  • Feb. 16th: Mary Eliza Church Terrell (1863-1954)

  • Feb. 17th: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) 

  • Feb. 18th: The Children's Crusade (May 2, 1963-May 5, 1963)

  • Feb. 19th: Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)

  • Feb. 20th: Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson (1911-2015)

  • Feb. 21st: Mississippi Summer Freedom (Summer 1964)

  • Feb. 22nd: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Feb. 23rd: Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (1924-2005)

  • Feb. 24th: The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. (1941-present)

  • Feb. 25th: The Rise of Modern Voter Suppression, especially after  Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. __ (2013).

  • Feb. 26th: Congressman Marc Veasey (1971-present)

  • Feb. 27th: Congressman John Lewis (1940-present)

  • Feb. 28th: The Transformative Justice Coalition (2015-present) & What YOU can do to advance voting rights (2017)


People’s Democracy Conference

December 13, 2016 (9:45am – 3:15pm)

National Press Club


The People's Democracy Conference (PDC) was the Voting Rights Alliance hitting the ground running! Following the 2016 elections, the PDC was our continued effort to not only wage a defensive war for our voting rights again, but to also wage a bold, inclusive, and an offensive campaign. At the time of the PDC, already 5 states were working on new voter suppression legislation. We couldn't wait until Mid-January! Our 2016 Presidential Election turned out to be a BIG MESS with voter suppression of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native American voters; Hateful and Racist appeals; and, the revelations about the Russian interference. The PDC was designed to be an educational event to re-charge our energies and racial justice movement right before the holiday season! In attendance was a diverse audience of students, activists, lawyers, professionals, and non-professionals all committed to ensuring our Democracy is preserved in this time of threat.  The conference featured three panels (voter suppression in the states, Cross Check, and voting machines and strategies moving forward) and a Luncheon Roundtable of leaders of the Voting Rights Alliance. After the conference, there was a short march to the Trump Transition Headquarters. 

Speakers included prominent state and national figures, including:

  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus;
  • Terry O'Neill of the National Organization of Women;
  • Greg Palast, investigative journalist and Cross Check exposer;
  • Rev. Rodney Sadler of North Carolina's Moral Monday Movement;
  • Ria Thompson Washington of the National Lawyers' Guild;
  • Dr. Ron Daniels of the Institute of the Black World;
  • Ben Ptashnik of the National Election Defense Coalition;
  • Barbara Arnwine, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition; and,
  • many others.

*Video will be available soon.*