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At a time when Black women are running for an increased number of political offices across the nation, they are also running voting campaigns using their collective power.

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) announced a Unity ’18 Black Voting & Power Building “Time4APowerShift” National Campaign Friday (May 11) in Atlanta. The non-partisan national campaign is a way to “leverage the power and impact of the Black vote,” according to a press release.

Organizers are focused on getting the word out in key swing states in the South, as well as mobilizing Black women, young voters and citizens returning to the polls across the country. This year’s campaign is the start of a multi-phase one that will also be in place for the 2019 election cycle, 2020 presidential election and decennial census, as well as the 2021 redistricting fair representation process.

The project’s ultimate goal? Organizers want to implement and build a “long-term Black political and economic power building strategy.”

“We believe 2018 is the year of the woman that is centered in women of color  So, we have focused a key part of our Unity ’18 Campaign on lifting up the intergenerational leadership of Black women and have partnered with over 60 national and states-based organizations and networks, that are primarily led by Black women,” Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and National Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable, said.

Campbell continued, “Black women voters are not only the ‘secret sauce’ and most reliable vote for progressive candidates to win: we are leaders of many of our civil rights, women’s rights, social justice and human rights organizations.”

Several significant elections are being mulled over by organizers: the vote for representatives from all 435 congressional districts, 35 Senate seats and more. Thirty-nine certified statewide ballot initiatives are also on the radar, including Florida’s Amendment 4, which could restore the right to vote for more than 1.6 million state residents with prior felony convictions upon completion of their sentences. Many local races are of important as well.

“We are centering the voices of Black women, supporting grassroots leadership and coordinating our efforts,” Latosha Brown, NCBCP board member and co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said. “When we work together, we win!”

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