Respect My Vote Hitting Historically Black Colleges to Get Out the Vote For Midterms


With assist from Vic Mensa, Charlamagne Tha God, G Herbo, Amber Rose and lots of extra, the group has gotten out the vote previously.

The Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. has been sporting out his sneakers visiting HBCUs (traditionally black faculties and universities) all throughout the Midwest and South to be sure that college students get out and vote within the midterm elections on Tuesday (Nov. 6).

The minister, group activist and president and ceo of the Hip Hop Caucus is crashing campuses from Georgia and North Carolina to Michigan with a easy message: your vote counts.

"I've been doing this work to get out the vote for the previous 10 years with the Respect My Vote — for the final election in 2008 with Keyshia Cole and T.I. — attempting to assist individuals who had been previously incarcerated vote and chatting with ladies of colour on HBCU campuses," Yearwood tells Billboard. As previously when he labored with 2 Chainz, Tip, Charlamagne the God, Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg to encourage voting, Yearwood has tapped into a protracted listing of headliners and native hip-hop artists to get out the vote this election season. 

Collaborating with pupil governments on campuses, Yearwood is doing every thing he can to verify college-age voters are registered, in addition to collaborating with the Election Protection Committee to verify votes are protected at a time when a variety of states have enacted laws that has aggressively eliminated registered voters from their rolls. 

Yearwood says that, to this point, he's seen numerous enthusiasm among the many college students he's met and spoken to, borne out by the numbers which have begun to roll in: 24 million early-voting ballots counted, surpassing the 2014 whole every week earlier than the midterms. "I waited [in line] half an hour to early vote this week," Yearwood says. "It's a layered dialog, although. We make certain these college students know they’re voting for his or her future. Quite a lot of younger individuals really feel that they’re no longer simply combating for equality, but additionally for existence."

The points Yearwood is chatting with college students about vary from the Black Lives Matter motion to local weather change, poverty, police reform and their very own private security. "We inform them in the event that they don't vote now, 40 years from now, the impression of the insurance policies which are being created will make it laborious for them to outlive," he says. "It’s a special sort of urgency persons are feeling."

So far Yearwood's journeys have taken him to such iconic HBCU's as Morehouse College, Clark, Spelman and Hampton University, in addition to faculties in Michigan as a solution to domesticate a brand new technology of what he likes to name "arctivists," a portmanteau for artists/activists. "Some artists we work with come from the streets and this can be overseas to them [being politically involved], so we need to use our platform to assist them turn into extra engaged," he says, noting that this 12 months's drive has registered hundreds of recent voters. "They have to comprehend it is a great platform and so they can use their title to tweet out one thing and actually turn into arctivists.

Amber Rose, a longtime supporter of Respect My Vote, additionally teamed up with the marketing campaign on her annual SlutWalk this 12 months. “We can’t proceed to offer energy to individuals in workplace who oppose ladies having management over our personal our bodies, and entry to well being care we’d like, and safety from sexual harassment at work," Rose tells Billboard. "By voting, we take away their energy and we empower individuals in workplace who’re and can struggle for ladies’s equality. And, that’s our aim with the partnership between SlutWalk and Hip Hop Caucus’ ‘Respect My Vote!’ marketing campaign.

Click right here to see an inventory of Respect My Vote's celeb spokespeople.