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Black Voters Matter (BVM)

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Black Voters Matter (BVM)

Black Voters Matter (BVM)

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Description

Black Voters Matter (BVM) is an American voting rights and community empowerment organization. BVM's stated purpose is "to increase power in our communities" by focusing on voter registration, getting out the vote, independent election-related expenditures, and organizational development & training for other grassroots groups. Founded by activists LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright in 2016, BVM played a key role in the election of United States Senator Doug Jones of Alabama in 2017, the 2020–21 United States Senate election in Georgia and the 2020–21 United States Senate special election in Georgia.

Background

Black Voters Matter was founded by LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright in 2016 "to center stories of community members directly connected to issues" and "to partner with activists already established in local communities." As of November 2020, the group operated in Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Mississippi. In addition to voter registration and get out the vote efforts, BVM focuses on policy advocacy, including expanding early voting, resisting voter ID laws and upholding and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965; organizational development and training of other grassroots groups; and financial support of related election activities. BVM works with non-partisan VoteRiders to spread state-specific information on voter ID requirements.

The organization generally focuses in areas where at least 15% of the electorate is Black.

Institutional and Corporate partners are collaborating to combine financial, volunteer, marketing and other resources to raise awareness of Black voting rights and address other Black community issues. This include America Votes advocacy, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) awarding multi year grants,[9] The Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic group founded by the business magnate George Soros bestowing a 5 year grant, BET partnering for the #ReclaimYourVote 2022 campaign, MTV’s “Rock the Vote” support to mobilize student voters, Oprah Winfrey's Own Your Vote raising money for voter education initiatives, and Ben & Jerry's is rebranding its Cold Brew Coffee flavor to "Change is Brewing", to highlight the power of Black voters and encourage voter participation by supporting Black Voters Matter activities.

Doug Jones campaign

Black Voters Matter played a key role in the 2017 special election of Doug Jones to the United States Senate from Alabama. Jones was the first Democrat to fill the seat since 1992, and Black voter turnout was especially notable in the election, with 98% of Black women casting votes for Jones.

During and after Jones' victory, BVM shifted its focus to rural Black communities in the South rather than in urban areas and joined a coalition of Black women's groups working to increase voter turnout in 2018.

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Co-founder of Black Voters Matter (BVM)
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