In preparation for the midterm elections, Michele Obama is initiating a voter registration challenge called Vote Loud aimed at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to go out and vote. This is the organization’s first HBCU campaign.
The “Vote Loud HBCU Squad Challenge” is supported by Phoenix Suns player Chris Paul who featured in the campaign video released on Wednesday urging students to stand up for their right to vote.
“We’ve got to do a better job of speaking directly to the motivations and unique challenges that young and first-time voters face around voting,” Obama said. “That’s a big part of the reason why I created When We All Vote—to spark important conversations, share critical resources, and make sure people get registered and get out to vote. It’s up to all of us to encourage and work with the next generation to really change the culture around voting,” she added.
Voting rights — especially for Black and young voters — are under attack. That’s why we’re joining @MichelleObama and @CP3 to launch the #VoteLoud HBCU Squad Challenge to ensure that we make our voice heard in 2022 and beyond. Visit https://t.co/3IWlHi1FSp to learn more. pic.twitter.com/YfdvkS9717— When We All Vote (@WhenWeAllVote) March 9, 2022
With the right to vote being threatened, Black and Hispanic communities, individuals with disabilities, and young voters may face issues casting ballots.
“There are people out there who are working day in and day out to make it harder for communities of color, people with disabilities, and young people like you to cast their ballots,” Paul said.
“And that means there’s only one thing for us do, starting now-get organized,” Obama and Paul chimed together.
Using Obama’s When We All Vote as the foundation of the new campaign, which she created in 2018, will hand out $3,000 grants to HBCU students.
“It’s a competition where you bring together a squad to get your campus and community registered and ready to vote. Sign up to make sure your HBCU is a part of vote loud at whenweallvote.org,” Paul said.
“because in times like these it’s up to us to squad up and get everyone we know to vote loud,” the former first lady added.
According to The Hill, The financial assistance will “support their nonpartisan voter registration, education and mobilization efforts.”
According to BET, a statement from When We Vote explained the perks of entering the campaign.
The squads that carry out the most “creative and culturally relevant ideas will be eligible to win campus events and activations with celebrity appearances in partnership with BET.”
“Look, I know it can be discouraging. But the bottom line is that it wouldn’t be happening if people weren’t afraid of our voting power. That’s motivation enough for me, especially when I look at our history as a people in this country and those before us who led the way to ensure we could even vote. Through the Squad Challenge, we are empowering HBCU students to take leading roles in our democracy by volunteering with us and creating a squad and giving them opportunities to fight back,” Paul said.
For more information on how to join, visit whenwevote.org.