Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' campaign has teamed up with the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee to launch a virtual bus tour as an outreach effort to Black voters in battleground states. The partnership between the Biden campaign and the CBC PAC, titled the “Turn Up and Turn out the Vote Virtual Bus Tour,” will launch in North Carolina with an event tomorrow evening to mark the first National Black Voter Day.
According to an exclusive announcement sent to Blavity, the focus of the tour is to "highlight what’s at stake in this election for Black voters." The vice presidential candidate will be on-hand for Friday's event, which will focus on voter registration and early voting. Senator Harris will be joined by Grammy Award-winning singer Anthony Hamilton.
Beginning on Friday, the tour will visit battleground states throughout a two-week period. Local Black community leaders will join a Black public figure at each event. The tour will conclude October 1 with a Virginia event centered on voter registration and early voting.
During each stop, the virtual tour will focus on voter registration and voting by mail. In light of the ongoing pandemic, more Americans than ever are expected to cast absentee ballots this November. Voter education campaigns and voter resources will be important to assist absentee voting across the country, as rules and deadlines vary by state and many will be voting by mail for the first time.
Earlier this summer, BET, in collaboration with the National Urban League among other partners, announced that Friday would mark the first National Black Voter Day. The launch is part of a larger #ReclaimYourVote campaign, which aims to encourage Black voters and battle voter suppression tactics.
Black voters have played a integral role in the Biden for President campaign, forming the former Vice President's strongest voting bloc and helping propel Senator Harris to become the first Black woman to vice presidential nominee of a major party.
The Biden-Harris ticket has made racial justice a central focus of its campaign. In recent weeks, Biden for President has launched several outreach measures towards Black voters. Shop Talk, a series of ads filmed at a Black-owned barbershop in North Carolina, features Black men discussing the challenges they face in America. Launched after the shooting of Jacob Blake, the socially-distanced conversations have included a number of Black celebrities, intellectuals along with other Black leaders and public figures.
Senator Harris also recently launched the Sister to Sister initiative to increase voter participation among Black women in Wisconsin. Other outreach efforts have focused on Black business owners, Black students and HBCUs. The virtual bus tour will be one of most high-profile efforts of the campaign.
One goal of the tour is to highlight the campaign's Build Back Better plan for economic recovery. The plan focuses on economic relief and job creation to address the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, and it seeks to redress systemic racism and racial inequities.The virtual bus tour will also promote voter education and recruit organizers for voting promotion efforts.