With COVID-19 having a disproportionate impact on minority groups and accounts of police brutality against black Americans becoming too common, the preparation for the presidential election has been unlike any other for communities of color. The stakes are only rising, and voters of color hope to elect leaders who value their lives and hear their concerns during this landmark initiative.It moment.
To help empower voters of color and equip them with the tools to have their voices heard on Election Day, Hollywood – from Oprah Winfrey to America Ferrera – have launched initiatives to ensure people of color remain visible and heard.
“What people think of themselves; what people think about their role in politics, what they believe about whether or not they have the power to influence change in their own lives, let alone the country, really makes a difference in whether or not they show up to use their power, ”Ferrera told Deadline.
‘Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event’: Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan to Host CBS Special Celebrating Latino Culture
Latin American, Asian American / Pacific Islander, and Black communities may grow as a percentage of the U.S. population, but strength in numbers is not always reflected in the ballot box. In 2016, turnout among these demographics has stayed the same or decreased from the 2012 presidential race, according to census data. In 2016, only 49% of eligible Asian-American voters cast ballots, and the voting rate among Latin American and black communities fell by 0.4% and 7%, respectively.
Lower voter turnout may be the result of various factors impacting these communities, including nefarious rhetoric, voter suppression and civic insecurity.
“We know where this trust gap is coming from: what stories are being told about Latinas, who we are, what we are capable of and what we do in this country,” Ferrera said. “We have a culture that simply ignores the contributions of Latinas to this country and at worst portrays very harmful stereotypes.”
the Hypermarket actress teamed up with Eva Longoria to launch She can, a lifestyle community that seeks to empower and inform Latin women. The online platform, which provided supports (including One day at a time co-creator Gloria Calderon Kellett and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz) with COVID-19 town halls and virtual yoga sessions, also worked to encourage Latinas to vote.
The Latino Victory Project’s #VoteLikeAMadre digital campaign, supported by Jennifer Lopez, Zoe Saldana, Karla Souza and many more, is also empowering the Latina population this election season. Latino Victory Project president Nathalie Rayes also attributes the low turnout of Latinas to “shameful” Latin representation in politics. To combat this, #VoteLikeAMadre urges women in the Latin American community to elect candidates focused on tackling the negative effects of climate change, especially in the hard-hit states of Texas, Arizona and Florida. , who welcome 55% of the Latino population.
For the AAPI community, civic apathy may stem from a generational fear of attracting unnecessary attention and focusing only on survival in a new country, especially for older immigrant voters, says The 2020 project co-founder Philip W. Chung. This is why Project 2020 seeks to help members of the AAPI community to open the political conversation and realize their power as voters.
Oprah Winfrey Network President Tina Perry told Deadline that she partnered with Winfrey to launch the network. Own your vote campaign, a bipartisan initiative focused on mobilizing black women voters and their necessary tools for the 2020 local and presidential elections. Perry said black women can be a force to be reckoned with this election season.
“I think people are connecting these dots more than ever. If you want policies to change or you want policies to be developed and adopted that are in your best interests as a black woman, exercising your right to vote is a really powerful way to do it, ”Perry said.
From voter suppression affecting black women’s votes or harmful images interfering with the political potential of Latinas, such campaigns hope to change their respective communities’ relationship to voting. To help amplify their missions, these initiatives have further enlisted an array of Hollywood stars to spread the word.
During the 2020 project information session on the vote “Zuko Tuesday”, Dante Basco spoke with viewers live about their registration status and discussed their qualms about voting. The digital event, named after Basco Avatar: The Last Airbender character Prince Zuko, also saw the actor talking with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, share some valuable voting instructions, and host a quiz on the voting process.
“Are you registered to vote?” an excited Basco asked a random audience member during the livestream, which drew over 3,000 viewers.
Basco told Deadline that as a Filipino artist and filmmaker, he wanted to inspire young voters and fans to have more control over how they are portrayed in politics.
“When it comes to these important years and these important elections, the story is us, all of us and we are part of this story.,” he said. “We can make an impact and our voices matter. It’s not time for us to fly under the radar, it is time for us to be heard. It is no longer time for us to be invisible.
Crazy Rich Asians and All my life Actor Harry Shum Jr. has also joined Project 2020’s efforts to mobilize the AAPI community through November. He told Deadline that his involvement came from a desire to educate Asian American voters on what was at stake. in local and presidential elections.
On “Zuko Tuesday”, he encouraged viewers to reflect on the issues and policies that have upset them. From schooling to anti-Asian racism linked to coronaviruses, the Joy star said that identifying the main areas of concern his Community is a way to find common ground and unite behind government officials who could better represent the needs of Asian Americans.
Putting the needs of her children, community and herself first at the polls is what it means #VoteLikeAMadre, How? ‘Or’ What at Get out with the murder Karla Said Souza. As a mother of two and an advocate for climate change reform, the actress told Deadline that she often thinks about mortality and the kind of world we are in. are to leaveing behind for future generations.
“We all have this expiration date approaching and during this lifecycle we might not see the major dangers of climate change., but my children and my grandchildren certainly will, ”Souza said. “Voting like a mother automatically implies voting for the longer term.”
For these movements and campaigns, the mobilization of voters of color should not be based solely on the power of the stars. Perry said special content can also play a role in informing voters.
Starting in September, with the Town Hall of Own Your Vote, a virtual voting event that reached over 20,000 OWN viewers, the network has introduced additional programs dedicated to voting. OWN also launched its first digital animated short series., Sincerely, Camille. Perry said the series, by Munirah Safiyah Jones, serves to educate black female voters on electoral issues such as voter suppression, healthcare and COVID-19, while keeping them entertained.
“You have to think about giving back to this community at the corporate level,” Perry added. “Integrate civic engagement [and] social responsibility in the work you do is very easy to do, especially when you have a captive audience – a group that you speak directly to and are connected to.
While it can be easy to get carried away by the fervor surrounding the 2020 presidential election, organizers and Hollywood figures behind the voting platforms say engaging voters of color and strengthening their civic trust should not be exclusive to election season. This is why Project 2020 seeks to continuously educate young AAPI voters beyond November and why OWN presents relevant scenarios for black communities in its content. This is also why #VoteLikeAMadre asks voters to the little promise that they will vote to make the Earth more habitable for future generations, and why She Se Puede continues to share stimulating social media posts for Latinas.
This election year, also defined by mass unemployment and a series of nationwide natural disasters, was like no other. Voting in the next election will not miraculously turn things around and change America overnight. But, he has the opportunity to lay the groundwork for longer-term change – a change that generations of Americans, from immigrants and labor activists like Dolores Huerta to civil rights leaders like the late John Lewis, have made. undertaken to implement.
During the OWN Your Vote Town Hall, Winfrey revealed that she is filing her ballot for the change makers who came before her.
“I am voting for those who marched, who prayed, who sacrificed and who stood in humiliation and disrespect – those we care about,” she told attendees. . “We stand on their shoulders.”
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