Photo credit: Kayla Reed
In October of 2017, Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd, and Rukia Lumumba started the Electoral Justice Project (EJP), a project that is a part of the larger Movement for Black Lives, which seeks to fight for and advance the rights of Black U.S. citizens. With the highly anticipated premiere of Black Panther taking place across the country, EJP launched a new mission called #WakandaTheVote.
The mission seeks to leverage the excitement, pride, and unity that this film has awakened in the Black community into mobilized political engagement to encourage African Americans to get involved and vote. The EJP prides itself on "meeting the community where they are" in order to successfully garner listening ears and interest. "This weekend, we wanna meet our people in Wakanda," shared Byrd and Reed in an interview with Blavity.
Byrd and Reed went on to remark: "We know that for some it's a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it! This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice." The EJP has committed to being present at movie theaters across the country to register people to vote and encourage them to begin researching candidates now for upcoming 2018 primary elections.
EJP is committed to using every platform that they can to fight for the rights of Black people. They've already had over 1,000 people volunteer to join the movement and plan on launching a campaign manager institute this spring call the "Electoral Justice League." They are anticipate thousands of meaningful conversations with Black voters across the country and hope to build a validating "political home" in which they can take great pride and encourage others to build their own Wakanda.
Click here for more information about the Movement for Black Lives.