NEW YORK - Friday, Sept. 16, marks National Black Voter Day and the re-launch of BET's "Reclaim Your Vote" campaign.
BET wants voters to prepare for the polls this midterm election season, rolling out their efforts online and on the ground.
"In 2020, we started our campaign Reclaim Your Vote, and we started it in 2020 because we were in COVID," said BET Chief Social Impact Officer Jeanine Liburd. "It was confusing. No one knew, how do I vote? Is it safe to vote? And that was the genesis of the campaign. At that time, we knew this was something that wasn't going to be a one-year thing. We always understood how important elections are every year. We have had campaigns every election season. But this midterm we wanted to re-energize, re-empower, re-engage our audience."
Enlisting the help of Michelle Obama's When We All Vote, the National Urban League and dozens of other organizations, the network aims to build excitement around the political process.
"Soon as our former first lady speaks, we're all paying attention," Liburd said. "So to have her and Chris Paul be a part of this campaign and recognize National Black Voter Day is such an incredible opportunity for us."
"It's all about recognizing the power of our voices and the responsibility we have to use them," former NBA star Chris Paul said in one campaign video.
For National Urban League president and CEO Marc Morial, empowering the Black vote is an everyday effort.
"Voting is about power," Morial said. "It's about the power to change the conditions under which we live."
"In 2020, we voted with a vengeance," Morial continued. "We invested in many respects in a commitment to a Black agenda. In 2022, we have to protect that investment."
"After Roe v. Wade and where we are in immigration, seeing what happened with COVID in our country," Liburd added, "there's so many things that I think have made elections so much more felt for everyone, and particularly understanding where government has a major impact in the lives of Black Americans all over the country and in communities that need it the most."
"I think not voting is a cop out," Morial said. "Not voting is a sure way to not be heard. You don't send a message by not voting. You send a message by voting by participating in the process, and that's what has to be clear, and that sometimes means we may vote, and we may not be enthusiastic about all of our choices. But I'm always enthusiastic about the process."
Learn more and get involved at BET.com/ReclaimYourVote or look for #ReclaimYourVote on social media.
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