By Lauren Poteat, Special to the AFRO
Encouraging Black millennials to participate in the early voting process, organizations including Black Girls Vote,” “Planned Parenthood,” “1199SEIU” and “Young Gets It Done”—an organization dedicated to revolutionizing the voting process for minority populations, headed to Morgan State University over the weekend, for an epic rock the vote celebration.
Featuring artists including G Herbo, Dave East, Shiggy, Ari Lennox, Nephew and DJ Flow, on Oct. 27, hundreds of students took to the campus to see cherished celebrities, celebrate their right vote, which Marvin Bing, event producer of “Young Gets It Done,” deemed, an ultimate success.
Social media personality Shiggy performs at a rock the vote rally at Morgan State University. (Courtesy Photo/Young Gets It Done)
“During the 2016 elections, I saw a big gap between campaign organizers educating people of color about politics and the power of voting,” Bing said. “Our young people in some of the countries most dangerous zip codes also need access to voting and voter education.”
“Here in Maryland, the future of the state is on the dais and young people will certainly determine what the future holds,” Bing continued. “This event is to organize, educate, and get young voters in Maryland excited during the Early Voting period and keep them excited through Election Day. Young people—will define the politics of this year, and probably 2020 as well.”
Acting as a catalyst to a multi-city tour, intended to last well up until the 2020, presidential elections, Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU, Lisa Brown, stated how proud she was to be able to motivate multi-city millennial populations, in order to register to vote.
“This event will create the buzz and energy to encourage millennials to vote,” Brown said.
“The youth vote in Baltimore has the potential to become the largest and most powerful group driving issues like marijuana legislation, reducing mass incarceration and debt-free college,” said.
Though much momentum circled around the event and the overall Nov. 6 elections, Brianna Parker, founder of Black Millennial Cafe—an organization devoted to outreach services toward millennials, fears that this may still not be enough, to really drive the millennial voter numbers up.
“There’s no doubt that I’m going to vote, Parker said. “My heritage and my background wouldn’t allow anything otherwise, however, I’m still noticing a lot of disengagement from the millennials. You know, people say ‘your vote counts,’ but you can’t blame a millennial if he or she does not believe it, when people have still yet to address the mystery behind Trump’s election or even George W. Bush II.
“Millennials have to believe what they see and their feelings and notions have to be properly addressed before they can really move forward.”
Still, even with the contentious election of President Trump and others before him, Bing said, if you want to see that change you want, “you gotta vote.”
“The election of Trump is no reason to run away,” Bing said. “You gotta be in the room in order to have a say. Go vote!”