SPLC awards $5.4 million for voter engagement initiatives

SPLC awards $5.4 million for voter engagement initiatives

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, has announced a first round of grants totaling $5.435 million as part of its Vote Your Voice initiative, a partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

With the goal of increasing voter participation in the Deep South, SPLC has committed to investing up to $30 million in support of voter registration, education, and mobilization activities among people of color in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The first round of grants will support twelve organizations working to empower communities of color and ensure equitable access to the ballot box.

Grants were awarded to Black Voters Matter ($500,000), which will use the funds to support community and digital outreach efforts focused on Black voters in Alabama and Georgia; Dream Defenders ($200,000), which will ramp up its digital, social media, and phone banking voter registration activities in Florida; the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition ($1 million), which will target its outreach efforts to Black and Latinx voters in thirty-five Florida counties with high incarceration rates; the New Florida Majority Education Fund ($500,000); Organize Florida ($310,000), which will focus on low- to moderate-income people of color with a vote propensity score of 50 percent or less along the Interstate 4 corridor; the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda ($75,000), which is working to register unregistered voters in the state and help people purged from voter rolls re-register; the New Georgia Project ($750,000), which works to engage low-propensity voters, voters of color, and young voters; ProGeorgia ($750,000), which will conduct a census-integrated get-out-the-vote campaign; the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice ($500,000), which will use the funds to mobilize young people, returning citizens, seniors, and immigrants in Louisiana who are infrequent voters; Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) ($300,000), which will focus on registering Louisianans who were formerly incarcerated, have a conviction, or have never voted before; Mississippi Votes ($200,000), which will target young voters between the ages of 18 and 35 in twelve counties; and One Voice ($350,000), which will support the work of local member groups as well as phone banking and text outreach efforts in Louisiana.

"The magnitude of social justice problems facing communities of color, especially in the Deep South, can often feel overwhelming," said Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director of the SPLC's Voting Rights Practice Group. "The SPLC's partnership with trusted and successful community organizations is a serious effort to leverage political power through the ballot box to promote community empowerment and self-determination in a way that leads to a more equitable and just society."

(Photo credit: Elements5 Digital via Unsplash)

"First grants awarded; second round application process underway." Southern Poverty Law Center press release 07/28/2020.