Members of Black Girls Vote at North Carolina A&T State University celebrate after a successful voter registration drive outside of the campus student center in Greensboro, N.C. October 6, 2020. (Courtesy photo)
By Reggie Wilson
Special to the AFRO
Black Girls Vote, the Baltimore based advocacy organization that says it has registered more than 16,000 Black women to vote since its founding, is having an impact this election season some 300 miles to the south.
North Carolina A&T State University’s chapter of Black Girls Vote is taking advantage of these last few days of the election cycle to raise awareness and to get students to the polls.
“This season is bigger than ourselves,” said Rhyann Gray, a 20-year-old journalism and mass communication major. “We are not only encouraging women, but also men to get out there and seek the change that they want to see.” Gray is also president of North Carolina A&T State University’s chapter of Black Girls Vote.
The organization boasts 50 members and says it has been active for the past two months to get the word out about the election. Although Black Girls Votes is a nonpartisan group, Gray says there are important issues being talked about this election like police brutality and Black Lives Matter that will have an impact on young people.
“Recently, we registered people to vote outside of our student center. We were out there for a total of four hours spreading the word. We had registration materials right there on site, so students could fill them out,” said Gray. “My executive board and I took them to the post office and sent them out for the students.”
People on campus are noticing their impact.
“They have had several events and even yesterday, Rhyann came by my classroom teaching my students about voting and the process,” said Joaquin Nelson, English professor, and Black Girls Vote chapter advisor. “They are doing a really good job.”
Chris Dunn, 22, is a senior mechanical engineering major. He said he’s also been impacted by the chapter’s work.
“At first, I wasn’t really informed or interested in politics, but talking to them, it made me want to do my part in the community and get my fellow peers to register to vote to enact change,” said Dunn.
The work of Black Girls Vote is right in line with the surge of voter interest in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections more than 3 million votes have been cast for this election to date, representing more than 46% of the expected turnout.
Black Girls Vote was founded by Baltimore native Nykidra Robinson in 2015 to encourage more Black women to vote. Morgan State University was the first collegiate chapter. There is also a student chapter at American University in Washington, D.C. The organization has participated in over 1,000 outreach and civic events since being founded.
Reggie Wilson is a strategic communications major in the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University.