Oprah Winfrey may have let a lot of her fans down by not running for president, but this week she will be trying to do the next best thing: encouraging people to vote in a last-ditch effort of virtual appeals to anyone possibly contemplating sitting on the sidelines for next week’s presidential election.
The highly influential media mogul whose support spans multiple coveted demographics — including Black voters and women — will be hosting a handful of town hall events throughout this week in various battleground states that are expected to play key roles in helping to decide who wins the election. The town halls will be streamed online and take place virtually in observance of pandemic guidelines that call for social distancing as the world braces for a second wave of the coronavirus.
Winfrey’s political efforts are part of her OWN YOUR VOTE initiative.
Beginning Monday, Winfrey’s town halls are planned for Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, in that order. However, viewership is not limited to those states and anybody interested in participating can register.
According to a press released emailed to NewsOne, “Winfrey will speak with local voters around the country to ensure as many as possible are prepared with resources, information and inspiration ahead of the General Election. Those joining the town halls include local voters in each state, along with national thought leaders, voting rights experts and those who can provide resources and information for voters. Speakers will include activist and Undistracted podcast host Brittany Packnett Cunningham; Wisconsin 4th Congressional District Representative Gwen Moore; President of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Law Kristen Clarke; Mayor of Charlotte Vi Lyles; NAACP Detroit Chapter Executive Director Kamilia Landrum; CEO, Vote.org Andrea Hailey; City Council Member, Columbia, SC Tameika Isaac Devine; Vice President Color of Change, Arisha Hatch; activist Tamika D. Mallory; President & Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill.”
More than two dozen advocacy and public service organizations have signed on to be included in the series of town halls.
The schedule for Oprah’s town halls this week is as follows:
Tuesday: North Carolina
Wednesday: Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania
Thursday: South Carolina
Registration is free and people interested in signing up can do so by going to zoomwithoprah.com.
Opah has already been involved in the 2020 campaign in her own way, including telling Kanye West not to run for president. She also surprised voters in Texas — another battleground state — by making cold calls to them earlier this month and encouraging them to vote.