Black Southern Women’s Collaborative Commissions Survey of Nearly 2000 Alabama Voters

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To Host “From the Ground Up: Understanding Voting Challenges and Community Concerns” on June 4 at 11:00 a.m. EST

For Immediate Release
May 31, 2024
Contact: press@spotlightpr.org

MONTGOMERY, AL – The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative (BSWC) today announced a media briefing to detail findings of a community listening project involving Black voters in Alabama. The “From the Ground Up: Understanding Voting Challenges and Community Concerns” event will be held June 4 at 10:00 a.m. CST/11:00 a.m. EST. The project was commissioned by the BSWC’s Alabama fellows and executed by Robinson Consulting. The listening sessions occurred August 23, 2023 to January 15, 2024, and included more than 1,880 respondents. The purpose of the engagement was to listen to Black voters and document voting challenges and concerns. You may register here.

“When Black communities are engaged, they are more likely to show up to vote and vote in their best interests,” said Onoyemi Williams, Deputy Director of Faith in Action AL. “The listening sessions queried the Black community in Alabama on a range of topics including redistricting, jury selection, engagement with political leaders, the dearth of public opinion research targeting the Black community and strategies for engaging Black voters.”

Political commentators will periodically remark a 30-year voting low in Alabama in 2022 and suggest voters limited interest in the 2024 election. Advocates however say that voters are not being heard, seen, and believed. The findings from this listening project outline a roadmap for boosting engagement and turnout among Black voters in 2024 and beyond.

Key themes included:

  • The gap in research of Black communities in the South is a result of Black communities viewed as unworthy of study.
  • The Black church is a sacred institutional space for organizing.
  • Black people are not a monolith. Researchers must think differently about how to engage underrepresented and undercounted groups.
  • Creating a formal process for listening and engaging over 1,800 Black people is unprecedented but is overdue.
  • The jury duty selection process is unfair. At least 80% of respondents have never been called for jury service, or had not been called in the last 10 years.
  • When Black people are covered in the media, the coverage centers around who they will vote for not necessarily what issues are impacting their day to day lives.

“These listening sessions offered a more detailed view of what Black people are thinking about and dealing with; and the conversations were more complex than what is usually reported in the media,” said Ranada Robinson, owner of Robinson Consulting.

“This project demonstrates that when engaged with genuine interest and curiosity, Black voters are willing to participate in data-driven projects that can be translated into strategy and solutions to pressing societal challenges,” said Tee Barnes— Program Coordinator for Southern Partners Fund.

“Many survey leaders cite a lack of interest or apathy as rationale for why Black people have not been included in research projects,” said Dr. Adia Winfrey, Transform AL Executive Director. “This places the onus on Black communities instead of the institutions that compile research.”

“This report gives Black voters a voice. It also says to the broader community that Black voters should be neither overlooked or considered a monolith,” said Anneshia Hardy, Alabama Values Executive Director. “Without direct engagement of Black communities, issue advocacy campaigns and political campaigns cannot understand our community or develop messages that would resonate with Black voters.”

“Coupled with disinvestment in Black communities, not engaging Black voters in public opinion research projects, results in deep cynicism, disengagement, and disinterest in the political process,” said Kameryn Thigpen, creator of Hipped Interests. “We should always be asking people what they need and how they feel about their communities.

Survey participants were engaged with electronic and printed surveys that were distributed via door-knocking, community events, in-person trainings, church events, HBCU homecoming events, and friends and family gatherings. The result was data-driven solutions for engaging Black voters on issues of importance to this demographic.

WHO:           

Onoyemi Williams—Deputy Director of Faith in Action AL 

Ranada Robinson, Owner of Robinson Research and Consulting

Dr. Adia Winfrey– Transform AL Executive Director 

Tee Barnes— Program Coordinator for Southern Partners Fund (SPF)

Anneshia Hardy– Alabama Values Executive Director 

Kameryn Thigpen– creator of Hipped Interests

WHAT:           BSWC Briefing on Survey of 1800 Black voters in Alabama

WHEN:          Thursday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. CST/11:00 a.m. EST

WHERE:       Join Zoom Meeting
us02web.zoom.us/j/86499099715?pw…
ID: 86499099715
passcode: 563407

Join by phone

(US) +1 689-278-1000
passcode: 563407###

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