Atlanta, GA – A diverse group of women representing all walks of life, faiths, and ethnicities assembled recently at the Atlanta Civic Center for the “Women in Power Multicultural Forum,” a spirited get-out-the-vote rally featuring a mixture of local, state, and national speakers that discussed women as “Game Changers” and urged the audience to visit, call, text, or email at least 100 women to tell them to vote early or on November 2.
“Women make are the majority voters in Georgia; that’s power,” said Evelyn Gibson Lowery, chair of sclc/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now and co-convener of the forum. “It was important for us to bring together women of all cultures to talk about the influence women have at the polls and to encourage all women to actively participate in the political process.”
With Fox 5 News anchor, Lisa Rayam presiding, the upbeat event included women of all ages from children bearing get-out-the-vote signs they created to seniors distributing voter education materials. Dr. E Faye Williams, National Congress of Black Women, traveled from Washington, DC to discuss the ballot power of women nationally. The former counsel to the U.S. Congress, Williams said women are the majority voters and 2008 demonstrated the power women have at the polls.
“Women all over the world are powerful,” said Helen Kim Ho, Asian American Legal Advocacy Center. “We all care about fair opportunities in work or business. We all care about the economy. We all care about education. We care about public safety. And, right now we have some civil rights and human rights issues going on that make this election so important for many reasons. We need you to go out to vote and take everyone you know along with you,” she added.
Honorable Shirley Franklin pointed out that the significance of this election can not be underestimated. “Some people are doing okay but most folks are having a hard time. We cannot ignore the fact that government policy makes a difference in the lives of everyone from the cradle to the grave,” Franklin added.
“The speakers exemplified the power of women,” said Rita Jackson Samuels, of the Georgia Coalition of Black Women and co-convener of the forum. “We had Mayor Dixon of Riverdale, Dr. Violet Johnson of Agnes Scott College, Monica Maldonado from the Latino Community, Krista Brewer from Georgia Women’s Actions for New Directions, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, and several college students were in attendance.”
Lauren Yvettte Williams, Clark Atlanta University, Shenaika Davis, Agnes Scott College and Emma Harger, Georgia State University talked about the impact the collegiate vote had on the 2008 election and discussed what they are doing on their campuses to get-out-the-vote in 2010.
Three North Atlanta High School students, “The Trio,” Miss Georgia 2008, Chasity Hardman, and Rene Crutcher, provided the music during the event. Those who were not old enough to vote were urged to make sure to tell their family, neighbors and teachers to vote.
After a moving soliloquy, actress/singer/activist, Sheryl Lee Ralph gave the audience their marching orders. “Don’t let this moment be the end of it” Ralph said. “You must get involved. You must get informed. You must get educated. You must take action. Vote and make sure everyone you know votes.”
Image by Dave Pinter