NAACP aims to strategize, fight voter suppression, restore voting rights with democracy event in Shelby County

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In the ten years since the Shelby v. Holder decision, the impacts of the decision have been far-reaching including voter suppression bills, lack of representation for Black and Brown communities, and increased police brutality. 

 

In response, the Alabama State Conference of NAACP will bring together voting rights advocates, organizers and community members to discuss ways to safeguard voting rights and other important issues for Black and Brown communities. 

 

The “Shelby Democracy Restoration Summit” is set for June 23-25.

 

Day 1 (June 23, 2023) will feature a march in Columbiana, Alabama to bring awareness to issues that plague democracy and freedom. The march will start at 105 W College St., Columbiana. There will also be a rally and meet and greet. The day’s events will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

 

We are delighted to welcome all to Shelby County, Alabama,” said Carolyn Rankins Shields, president Shelby County Branch of NAACP. “Our purpose is to elevate your awareness of the value of the voting process. We will inform you on issues of importance to your life and the lives of others that you care about. We hope that you will come away from this time with not only a determination to go to the polls on election day, but also a positive plan for choosing who will receive your all-important vote. We want you to be an inspiration to others. Challenge your friends and family on the issues, question candidates until they tell you their plan for the quality of your life, the future of your children, and the protection of your freedoms.”

 

The event will provide a platform for networking, collaboration, and learning. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with community members concerned with voting rights, share ideas, and explore ways to make a meaningful impact in their communities.

Day 2 (June 24, 2023)  will include strategy sessions with topics such as reproductive autonomy, healthcare, climate control, gun violence prevention, education, racial equity, voter rights restoration, police/prison reform, countering domestic terrorism, and issues that impact the poor and people with disabilities. Additionally, there will be a session celebrating 50 years of hip-hop and how it has influenced the movement. These sessions will be held at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama, located at 75 College Dr, Montevallo. The day’s events will begin at 8 a.m. 

The day will end with a concert starting at 8 p.m., and will feature Grammy Award winning singer Peabo Bryson. 

Day 3 (June 25, 2023) will feature an ecumenical service and a gospel concert on the campus of the University of Montevallo. The day’s events will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

June 25, 2023, marks the 10th anniversary of the egregious Supreme Court Decision to remove the preclearance provision that oversaw voting rights protocol changes,” said Omar Neal, summit organizer. “We are issuing a clarion call to all who have seen the impact of an unfair, repressive system designed to put anti-democratic voting measures in place to disenfranchise Blacks and other marginalized people by people who do not believe in democracy. We invite all lovers and protectors of democracy to join us in Shelby County, Alabama.”

The significance of the decision by the United States Supreme Court made it unconstitutional to apply the Section 4b coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act in determining which jurisdictions were subject to the preclearance requirement prior to each redistricting cycle. The 2021 redistricting cycle was the first cycle without the preclearance requirement. Currently, there are three Supreme Court cases challenging maps in Alabama, North Carolina and Louisiana. 

Since the Shelby Decision, Southern states such as Alabama, Texas and Missisissippi have experienced an increase in voter suppression tactics, such as stricter voter ID laws, purged voters from the rolls and rolled back early voting and access to the polls. 

Alabamians are currently fighting HB 209, which would make it a crime to assist with absentee ballots as well as accepting or providing payment for assisting. The bill has passed the Alabama House and a Senate committee and now heads to the full Senate. 

“The Alabama NAACP seeks all Lovers of Democracy and Freedom Fighters to join us in Shelby County as we prepare to save our Democracy,” said Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton. “We need to restore the VRA of 1965 to its full strength.  We need to increase black voter turnout so we can determine our future.  This will and can only be done by all of us engaging in the political process.  See you in Shelby.”

Registration is now open. Secure your spot by visiting https://www.alnaacpshelbysummit.org/. Act fast as space is limited. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


		
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