#WakandaTheVote Initiative Registers More Than 1,000 Voters During Opening Weekend Of 'Black Panther'
The black women behind the project now have their eyes set to do the same for Ava Duvernay's release of "A Wrinkle In Time."
February 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm
Three inspiring black women banded together to launch the #WakandaTheVote initiative to register voters at Black Panther screenings everywhere -- and their hard work is already paying off.
Last week, Blavity exclusively reported on a new campaign launched and led by activists Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba who collectively launched the Electoral Justice Project (EJP) in October. The project by the Movement for Black Lives aims to fight for and advance the rights of black Americans.
As part of the EJP's initiative, the women launched #WakandaTheVote to mobilize political engagement at Black Panther screenings around the country. During the film's opening weekend, Reed told Blavity on Tuesday that they were successfully able to sign up 100 voter registration drives to happen at screenings around the country and have already amassed more than 1,000 registered voters.
EXCLUSIVE: Meet the three women who just launched #WakandaTheVote, a new voter registration drive at #BlackPanther screenings across the country 🙌🏽. https://t.co/oiwatxoqAP pic.twitter.com/RYNelLzoJS— Blavity (@Blavity) February 17, 2018The initiative drew the attention of politicians and organizers far and wide, including praise from women like Sen. Kamala Harris, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill, journalist Joy Reid and other activists around the country.
This past weekend alone, at least 20 drives were held in cities, including Dallas, Durham, San Antonio, Miami, St. Louis and more.
"We've had a lot of engagement through different folks so we're really hopeful that people know that as long as Black Panther is in theatres, we're going to getting folks to register to vote," Reed told Blavity.
"We're meeting people where they are and we knew black people were going to be at the movies this weekend," she added."We need to teach them to be defenders of their own communities."
People can register to vote by texting "Wakanda" to 91990. With the success so far of this campaign, Reed said she and her team have their eyes set on Ava Duvernay's release of "A Wrinkle In Time" to create a similar voter registration drive since many are expected to show up for that film, too.
"The goal of the EJP is to create mechanisms for everyone to step into being a change agent to make democracy more accessible," Reed said. "It's really black people having a conversation about the importance of using all the tools at our disposal to bring about transformation in our communities."