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National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women’s Roundtable, Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation partner to launch Unity’18 Black Voting & Power Building Campaign in Florida

Candidate Andrew Gillum (far left) joins Rev. Al Sharpton and NCBCP President & CEO Melanie Campbell (far right) in a GOTV march to the Caleb Center in Miami on Sunday, November 4.

Florida Unity’18 Campaign focused on connecting economic Justice, Voting Rights and the power of the Black women and millennial vote in the 2018 Mid-Term Election cycle

ORLANDO, FL – On June 14, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation (FCBCP) and the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) launched the Florida phase of the Unity ’18 Black Voting & Power Building “Time4APowerShift” National Non-Partisan Campaign (Unity ’18) in Orlando. The NCBCP Unity ’18 is a non-partisan national campaign that is laser-focused on leveraging the power and impact of the Black vote and collective leadership, with a special emphasis on the South, Black women, young voters and returning citizens across the country—where the Black vote will be key to shifting political power nationally and in states across the country, including AL, FL, GA, MD, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA, VA and the District of Columbia.

Unity ’18 is phase one of a four-year campaign that includes developing and organizing a long-term Black political and economic power-building strategy that includes the 2018 Mid-Term Election Cycle, 2019 Election Cycle, 2020 Presidential Election, 2020 Decennial Census and the 2021 Redistricting Fair Representation Process that will determine the balance of political power for the next decade and beyond.

In 2018, there are key elections that will impact the balance of political power for the next decade——with the election of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representative, 33 U.S. Senators, 36 governors, 87 of the 99 state legislative chambers and 39 certified state-wide ballot initiatives, and many local races as well.

The Unity Campaign ’18 Campaign organizing and training sessions at the Florida launch included Common Sense Economics and Mass Incarceration led by Salandra Benton and Charles Clark with the Florida AFL-CIO; Why Courts Matter, led by Leslie Watson-Malachi, PFAW African American Ministers Council; and a Unity ‘18 Voting & Power Strategy Session, led by Salandra Benton, FCBCP and Melanie Campbell, NCBCP. The launch also included a special organizing presentation on Amendment 4, an initiative that restores the right to vote for over 1.5 million Floridians with prior non-violent felony convictions, led by Desmond Meade, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Florida Black Men’s Roundtable, FCBCP.

Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and National Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable, shares, “The Florida primary elections are on August 28 and we want to ensure that there is a mobilization of the broadest coalition of voters possible in order that the issues critical to us are addressed. In addition, we also believe that 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.”

Salandra Benton, Convener, Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Florida Black Women’s Roundtable (FL BWR) shared, “I am excited that Black Women are in Florida are coming together to build power and continue to lead our communities in change through civic engagement. I encourage every voter in Florida to follow the Black Women’s lead at the polls this year. ‘Vote Like a Black Woman!’”

The Unity ’18 Florida Campaign state partners include: FCBCP, FL BWR, SpeakHER, Inc., Florida Black Youth Vote, NAACP, S.E. Volusia County, Treasure Coast FL Links, Progressive Black Women of Pensacola, FL, Real Talk Coalition, Florida Rights & Restoration Coalition, Prophetic Women’s Voices of Florida and Haya Fashion Inc. Mentoring Community Organizers. The following are comments from the campaign’s Florida launch partners:

Marian Harriel, Florida Black Youth Vote Coordinator – “As a youth in America, I am committed to ‘Stop the Hate and the Violence’ towards our community and in our community by holding conversations and leading the youth to the polls. It’s time for a Power Shift.”

Shayriaka (Shy) Morris, President, NAACP, S.E Volusia County – “I like being a strong link in the chain of sisterhood. As a young woman receiving guidance from the generation before me, it keeps me pushing to assist the younger generation who is looking up to me to link them to the sisterhood of power and change.”

Alberta Wilson, National Congress of Black Women Space Coast Chapter – “I am happy to be a part of the Power Shift and work in collaboration with other Black Women to lead our community into transformation.”

Deanna Smith, President, Prophetic Women’s Voices of Florida – “Women’s voices in Florida must be heard and crucial to the temperament of the state. Women as a whole unit of voices will make the difference and the power shift.”

Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, Chapter President, Treasure Coast, FL Links – “Whenever you see the morals of a nation declining, it is an indication that the morals of the people within that nation have fallen. I am happy to see that Black Women’s leadership has answered the call to a Power Shift.”

Carol McIntosh, President, Progressive Black Women of Pensacola, FL – “I urge Black Women to become more progressive by leading their communities and young women and girls to a position of power.”
Sheena Meade, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Incentives, Florida Rights & Restoration Coalition – “Black women have proven that we can lead and win when we strategize together. As a young Black Women, I am motivated by the Power of the Sister Vote.”

Sharon Madison, Co-Chair, Real Talk Coalition – “Black Women must lead and be a part of the conversation when it comes down to our children and education equity, for that reason, our voices must be heard at the polls this year.”

Dr. Johnica Bennett, President, SpeakHER, Inc. – “It’s vital that women’s healthcare in our communities become a game changer. I am committed to, and practice, women’s healthcare in an underserved rural area. These women appreciate that even as a seasoned professional, I still look just like them. The power of the sister vote at the polls will ensure that healthcare will work in their favor.”

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) — For more information visit: www.ncbcp.org or www.unitycampaign.org
The Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation (FCBCP) visit www.fcbcp.org

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