You’ve been urged to vote by us (and we’re not done), by Black Lives Matter, and by the Movement for Black Lives. We are all clear that voting alone will not end white supremacy, but it’s a necessary step to prevent further slippage towards tyranny. Vote, and then stay engaged in community work.
Champaign County has made tremendous strides in making it possible for every eligible voter to cast their ballot. Take advantage of early voting locations, drop boxes for mail-in ballots, and make a plan for November 3 if you don’t plan on voting early. Let everyone know that Election Day is now an official state holiday, which means there are no University classes.
But also, remember that the ease and ability to vote is another place where white privilege shows up, and that barriers to voting are often there with intent. The clearest example of this is racialized voter suppression, such as long lines. Camera shots of endless lines of voters are supposed to be inspiring, but waiting 9 hours in line is the mark of suppression. A 2017 study showed that non-white voters are seven times more likely to wait more than an hour to vote. Other voter-suppression tactics are dressed up as strict voter ID laws and difficult registration processes, including limits on voting for incarcerated people and people with felonies. In addition, barriers that have kept those with a chronic illness or disability from voting have been heightened by the pandemic.
So vote, but also, help others to vote by sharing our graphic resources on social media.
Until we are all free,
CU-SURJ Newsletter Team
Show Up This Week
Oct 22nd, 4:30 p.m.
Election Defense Phone Zaps
Oct 26th and 28th 2 p.m.
Oct 22nd and 29th (recruitment) 5 to 8 p.m.
Nov 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (voter contact)
12 to 3:30 p.m.
Oct 27th 6 to 7 p.m.
Oct 28 7-8pm (weekly)
Calls to Action
There are so many calls to action, we made a spreadsheet! Check out upcoming national trainings, as well as resources and toolkits.
- Commit to act for election justice in Central Illinois. We'll send you info about timely events and calls to action.
- Participate and share #whatmatters2020 to rally Black Lives Matter supporters and allies to the polls in the 2020 U.S election.
- Serve as an Election Defender or volunteer to help them. These volunteers are core leaders in local areas that will be the heartbeat of the Movement for Black Lives and SURJ campaigns to defend the right to vote, and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.
- Write a letter to the editor in The News-Gazette about this or another racial justice issue.
Provide voter support and make a plan yourself
See more on our Calls to Action page.
- Read: "What You Need To Know About Language Access At The Polls in Illinois"
- Read: "Being Black in America" from Sheila Johnson, UI alumna and BET co-founder
- Read: "I received my mail-in ballot and then voted in person instead"
- Read: "Weighing in today with a five-step plan for changing ‘the systems that perpetuate racism and violence’"
- Listen: :Abolition in Covid-Times"
- Read: "Voter Suppression Is Still One of the Greatest Obstacles to a More Just America"
- Read: "Voters vs. Disinformation"
- Learn: Conscious Kid Key Terms for Racial Literacy
- Watch: Videos from Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street and Kids Explain about voting and why it's important
- Poetry: Jay Simpson's "A sore subject"
- Art: The Art of Voting features political posters by 80 illustrators
Send art/poetry/music submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org