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to recruit poll workers and poll moni- Sometimes people say, “Well, it’s just 2008 election had a crescendo effect tors for the election of 2012. We have about the numbers.” It’s more than on that I think because of the historical a big focus on recruiting young black that. We know that. So, I think the lead- nature. But, the reality is we all, Delta males who will be adversely impacted ership role is critical. And, we’ve not Sigma Theta and all of our organiza- to volunteer in their local communities yet to fully tap the power of what we tions, have been working together for to become poll workers. We’re saying can do collectively concerning the so- years to get to this place of really say- we know that the voter suppression is rorities and a lot of our civil rights and ing that we get that elections happen high and going after the black—and social justice organizations. That is every year and that every election is other people of color—vote, students a part of what the National Coalition the most important election. That’s not and the like, and we want to be a part on Black Civic Participation attempts saying that there won’t be some bumps of the solution in being inside the poll- to play in being a neutral umbrella, in the road, locally especially, but on a ing place. Be the poll worker, be the which is why our organizations came national level the national trend has precinct judge. We need to be doing together to create it in the fi seen an increase. But now though, rst place, those things right now. I know that through Delta Sigma Theta’s National Social Action Commission, we are do- Our theme for the unity campaign ing that kind of work. We want to esca- late that work. in 2012 is “Stand your groundWith the Black Women’s Roundta- ble we have a Healthy Wealthy Wives initiative that we have been working for change” and that progress through for the last year and a half. With sororities, especially on the lo- happens over time. cal level and working in a lot of places with the Delta Sigma Theta chapters in local communities, we are really focused on just being a part of that so- so that we could work together under a that’s in jeopardy because this voter lution around living healthier and em- unity banner or a big vote banner. It’s suppression is so wide spread that we powering women. And the next phase all about coalitions, so everybody that have to really be on top of things. We of that is what we’re in now, which is comes to the table has something to have to continue to register voters and our Power to Sister Vote Campaign for bring. We’re really excited about this re-register voters because so many 2012. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is a new twist in how we’re doing our 2012 people are going to be impacted by all part of that national leadership of Pow- Election, which is really to lift the con- of these new Voter ID laws or making er to Sister Vote. We’re planning our stituencies of black women. it diffi cult for our organization in some work right now to ensure that the black of the states to do nonpartisan voter women’s vote is not taken for granted 3. We’ve talk a little bit about the 2008 registration. in this 2012 election and that we are Election and the turnout being so great. So, we have to work even closer able to collectively leverage our power What do you see as the main driving together in unity. Our theme for the for the benefi force behind that? A lot of people say unity campaign in 2012 is “Stand Your t of our community. it’s because we had the fi Ground for Change” and “Progress rst African- 2. How does the black community American as a major party’s nominee Happens Over Time.” And so, we have benefi for president. Some people say it was to stand our ground to fi ght against t from civic and fraternal orga- nizations working together to mobilize the use of social media and really using the voter suppression that’s going on voters? that in a new and different way. What and make sure that we get through the There is power in numbers. There do you see as the main motivator? noise and really listen to issues that is power in the fact that our Divine It’s all of those things that you just are important to us. We are not going Nine organizations are rooted in the mentioned, but it’s also that the trend to let those who want to suppress our community. In many cases, a lot of our in increasing the power of black wom- vote win. leadership—from a local, to a nation- en’s vote and black youth didn’t start al, to an international level—are folks in 2008. It has been a trend for the past 4. What are some of the biggest issues who have been involved...Most black decade of increased turnout and en- that will impact this election cycle? leaders are tied to some fraternity or gagement. We’re tuned in. We get it! Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs sorority or some civic or social orga- If you even look at 2010 when is number one. We actually did lis- nization that believes in service as they talk about the voter turnout going tening sessions for the last year and the price that we pay for being on this down, black youth led the youth vote. when it came to the policy priorities, Earth…I think we have not given the Black women led the women’s vote as it was jobs. It was the small business leadership credit that we should have. far as percentage of population. The opportunities; voting rights, because 73 ▲ JOURNAL Summer 2012


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