WASHINGTON, DC – Today, People For the American Way announced the extension of its nonpartisan, multi-platform “Defend the Black Vote” campaign focusing on Black male voters. From now until the conclusion of the Georgia Senate runoff election, People For will work to mobilize Black male voters between 18-60, encourage them to vote, and give them important information about voting laws and polling places. Early voting begins on November 28 and Election Day is on December 6.
The campaign will send one million text messages and will feature radio ads, digital ads, press outreach, social media, and billboards by world-renowned visual artists, Victoria Cassinova, Shepard Fairey, Alyson Shotz, and multimedia artist Carrie Mae Weems.
The goal of the “Defend the Black Vote” — one of the largest, national, direct texting campaigns uniquely focused on Black men who have voted in one of the last three elections — is to help motivate people to the polls with an urgent message to vote in a runoff that could impact the trajectory of the nation’s history. During the midterm elections, People For’s Defend the Black Vote campaign ran in 15 other states with high percentages of Black voters. The campaign first launched in the presidential elections in 2020.
“The runoff election is Georgians’ final opportunity to determine who will represent them in this U.S. Senate seat for the next six years,” said incoming People For the American Way President and CEO Svante Myrick. “As an organization with a mission to fight for justice, equality, fairness and freedom, we not only want to encourage greater participation of Black male voters, but we also want to encourage voting in states where there has been a history of voter suppression and equip voters with the tools to get to the polls against a tide of misinformation about voter ID laws, mail-in voting, early voting, and Election Day voting.”
The new radio ad, “The Follow Through,” begins airing this week and will run through Election Day in Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Savannah, and Albany.
The billboards by artist-activists in partnership with People For the American Way will launch in Forsyth, Hall, Cobb, Clayton, Rockdale, Douglas and Gwinnett counties, suburban and rural areas which surround Atlanta, in the last week before the election.
- I-75S 0.5 mi N/O HWY 138 E/S F/N(Clayton);
- I-75N 0.3 mi N/O Hwy 5 Conn. E/S F/S (Cobb);
- Hwy 5 0.5 mi S/O Arbor Pkwy E/S F/N (Douglas);
- I-75S 0.5 mi N/O HWY 138 E/S F/S (Forsyth);
- I-85N 0.1 mi N/O Beaver Ruin Rd W/S F/N (Gwinnett).
- I-985 0.5 mi S/O Spout Springs Rd E/S F/N (Hall);
- I-20 0.8 mi E/O Salem Rd (Exit 84) N/S F/E (Rockdale).
PEOPLE FOR RADIO AD SCRIPT
“The follow through”
Two male VO’s
(Sounds of basketball being played in the background)
M1: Bro, your whole outfit matching. That’s how I know you can’t play.
M2: Ha! Ok well, watch this. Splash mountain coming soon.
M1: Aw that’s beginners luck man. You got to do that ten times in a row.
M2: All day baby I’m nothing but wet.
M1: Listen man. You been watching the news lately.
M2: I told you it was gonna come down to us.
M1: It really did and I hate to say it but you were right. The last election came down to our folks showing up.
M2: Bet. But this isn’t over for Black men around Georgia. Now we’re going into overtime. Our end game goes to December sixth.
(basketball sounds end)
Narrator: Georgia voters. The runoff election is set for December sixth.
ALL counties will have early voting November twenty eighth through December second.
To vote by absentee ballot, applications MUST be received by November twenty eighth and turned in by December sixth by mail or at a dropbox location.
To vote in person on Election Day, December sixth, show up at your polling location and be sure to stay in line until your ballot has been cast.
(return of basketball sounds)
M2: The process is easy.
M1: Ok, ok. I got it.
M2: Good. Look–your follow through on your shot is trash. Let’s hope you’re better at follow through with your vote! ‘Cuz that can make all the difference for our community. Now check-up. School’s back in session.
Paid for by People For the American Way.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Victoria Cassinova. Victoria Cassinova, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a Los Angeles-based visual artist whose work ranges from murals and graphic art to illustration, drawing, and painting. Solo and group exhibitions of her work have been presented at galleries such as Thinkspace Projects-Los Angeles, Vertical Gallery-Chicago, Band of Vices-Los Angeles, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum-Honolulu and Spoke Art- San Francisco, Volery Gallery- Dubai, among others. Cassinova’s work has also served as an integral contribution to many social justice collaborations, including Blackout for Human Right’s annual MLK NOW event, We Rise Exhibition, Sons & Bros., Truth Initiative and more.
Shepard Fairey. Shepard Fairey is a contemporary street artist, graphic artist and social activist who emerged from the skateboarding scene and is now part of the Street Art movement. Fairey’s most recognizable work is Andre the Giant Has a Posse, Rock the Vote, Obey Giant, and the Barack Obama Hope poster, the iconic image made popular during the 2008 presidential election season. He was commissioned twice by Time Magazine to design the 2011 cover honoring “The Protester” as Person of the Year in the wake of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and other social movements around the world. He was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.
Alyson Shotz. Multimedia artist Alyson Shotz uses a range of materials to create interplays between natural elements and concepts of space, light, perception and gravity. Her sculptures are made from a range of materials including mirror, glass beads, plastic lenses, thread, steel wire, and digital photography, often repeating formal elements. She’s noted in past interviews that her “investigation into outdoor sculpture is an inherent critique of the traditionally male ways of dealing with the outdoors through art.” Her work is included in numerous public collections in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Indianapolis, IN.
Carrie Mae Weems. Over the course of nearly five decades, Carrie Mae Weems has earned success as a multimedia artist, using photographs, fiber arts, video, digital images and installation to investigate race, class, gender and power. Weems’ subjects range from intimate images of family to archival images of enslaved Africans to invite viewers to consider how stereotypes and biases inform our behavior and perceptions of others. Weems’ recent work also incorporates electoral politics: In 2016, Weems created a video to galvanize African American voters to vote against Donald Trump. Two years later, she created a political billboard to inspire similar action in the 2018 midterm election. Weems is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
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About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: https://www.pfaw.org.