LaTosha Brown opened with a song. Speaking about voting rights one recent spring day in Selma, Alabama, the Black activist delivered the civil rights anthem “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” in a voice showcasing her background as a jazz singer. She told her audience, through music, that the fight for equal access to the ballot box was as urgent as ever. The song drew cheers from a few dozen listeners, young and old, who had gathered before the brown-bricked African Methodist Episcopal church in a city known for its poverty as much as for its troubled racial past. For Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, the song served to introduce a question. “Close your eyes,” she said. “What would America look like without racism?” “How will we ever create what we’re not even envisioning? There was nothing that was brought into the real world that was not first envisioned.” A year after the police killing of George Floyd galvanized public attention to racial [...]
In the aftermath of the powerful racial justice protests that swept the nation in the summer of 2020, the Raikes Foundation launched the Black Leadership & Power Fund to support leaders of color working to build power and advance anti-racist policy change. Black Voters Matter, led by indefatigable Executive Director LaTosha Brown, was at the top of our list. The Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute aims to increase power and agency in communities through voting. The organization played an instrumental role registering voters in Georgia in the run up to the 2020 election. LaTosha sat down with Raikes Foundation Executive Director Dennis Quirin for a conversation about the state of the racial justice movement, the importance of a multiracial democracy, and what’s changed since 2020. Their conversation, lightly edited, is below. Dennis Quirin: I’m excited to have a conversation with you because you are such a fascinating thinker and doer in this moment. And I’m curious about what you think about our country’s [...]
As GOP lawmakers ramp up efforts to make it harder to vote, one voting rights advocates says this is an all hands on deck moment. Tory Gavito, co-founder & President of Way to Win and LaTosha Brown the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund join American Voices with Alicia Menendez to discuss how federal action could stop most of these restrictive voting measures.