The National Unity 2022 Black Voting and Power Building Campaign, including over 50 organizations, are coming together to launch a massive engagement effort to increase Black voter turnout ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, CBS News reports. November will be highly crucial for the direction of the country. 34 Senate seats will be up for election, and 32 Democrats are retiring in the house this year.
The Pew Research Center notes that 122 million people voted in the 2018 midterm election, with a 51.4% turnout rate among African American voters. President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Melanie Campbell want to match or increase that percentage.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is leading the effort along with NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network, and Black Voters Matter, among others. Each of these groups are looking to provide tools for Black voters to fight back on the many instances of voter suppression in states like Florida or Texas.
“We’re combining our advocacy, if you will, in a real tangible way, because you’re having these attacks that are falling to the states,” Campbell said, citing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. “The impact is real because on the ground where people are having to deal with this. It plays out when you can’t go to that Planned Parenthood clinic because you go in there for more than an abortion. There are other medical needs.”
A “summer of activism” will start this week, where the coalition will look to host community events around 11 states to bring awareness to issues such as reproductive rights and gun control. The group aims to hit a critical goal of one million Black voter contacts and train more than 500 youth organizers in battleground states like Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.
“We have to work together to educate our community on how to protect their vote because you have all these voter suppression laws on the books,” Campbell explained, referring to the 19 states that passed restrictions last year. “So this will be the first really national election where we’re going to see the results.”