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Civil Rights and Social Justice Leaders Converge on Georgia for Runoff

Washington, D.C. – Monday, national civil rights and social justice leaders gathered in Georgia, ground zero in the fight for voting rights, to underscore the assault on democracy ahead of Tuesday’s run-off election for the U.S. Senate:

“As we gather today at new Black Wallstreet, the very symbol of Black economic empowerment, I join my colleagues in solidarity for a collective call to action to save our democracy,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “There has been a concerted effort to disenfranchise voters, the likes of which we have not seen since the Jim Crow Era. The tactics are different, but the intent is the same: To maintain power by blocking access to the ballot box and undermining our democracy. There is too much at stake on the ballot this year and we cannot sit and watch as bad actors focused on spreading misinformation deter us from exercising our most fundamental right. It is imperative that Georgians reclaim their voice and their vote this Tuesday. The fate of our democracy depends on it.”

“If you are registered and breathing, find a way to vote!” said Nancy Flake Johnson, President and CEO of Urban League of Greater Atlanta. “Your vote determines whether our citizenship rights are protected or eroded. Whether the racial wealth gap widens or narrows. Whether healthcare is expanded or there are more hospital closures in your community. Whether your children can be well educated or be relegated to a low-wage job. Your vote also will show the nation and the world that Georgians step up and do what’s called upon us to do as citizens – even in the face of obstacles. We VOTE!”

“Freedom is on the ballot — reproductive rights, voting rights, economic justice, and so much more,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This Tuesday’s runoff is an opportunity for Georgians to have a say in where America is headed, and they deserve to do so free from interference and misinformation. Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our partners are working to get out the vote because the futures of Georgians and people across the country depend on all voices being heard and every vote being counted.” 

“The decades-long work of the civil rights and social justice movement has made Georgia a critical battleground state for the balance of power in the United States Congress,” said Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “We have the organizers, advocates and community leaders to thank for making the Black vote the deciding factor in every election. Because of that growing political power, nefarious forces have tried to limit our voice. In the face of these threats to democracy, we can’t be comfortable with just taking ourselves to go vote.  We’ve got to make sure everyone in our family; our kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, everybody has to come out and vote. That’s why the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is in Georgia with our national and state-wide partners for our Power of The Ballot tour to highlight what is at stake for our community. So much is on the line: our power, our rights, and our freedom. It is crucial that we continue engaging Black voters at every turn.”

“The importance of this election cannot be overstated,” said NAACP State Conference President Gerald Griggs. “The NAACP has worked diligently to make sure the voices of Georgians will be heard loud, clear, and without created impediments. In 2020, Georgia didn’t turn blue but instead it turned Black, and we are determined to keep Georgia Black in 2022.” 

“Recent elections across America have proven that as goes the South, so goes the nation – and this year’s U.S. Senate race in Georgia is no different,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. “At Black Voters Matter we believe in the power of the Black vote, and while we are incredibly proud of Black voters, for waiting in long lines, and dealing with absentee ballot issues, we know that it should not be this difficult to vote in Georgia. We stand firmly with the nation’s leading civil rights and grassroots leaders in calling for the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act.”

“This is a critical election for Georgia, the nation and our fragile democracy,” said Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. “So much is at stake, and it is imperative that working families come together and make our voices heard on December 6th.”

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