In our Partner Spotlight Series, see how Motivote partner organizations are making the digital platform their own and driving community engagement goals. In this Spotlight, learn about the #BlackWomenVote campaign by Higher Heights, a national organization dedicated to advancing Black women’s political power, is promoting intragenerational voter mobilization and preparation with voting plans.
With less than a week to go before Election Day, civic organizations and voting advocacy groups across the country are making their last push to encourage citizens to get out and vote. One of them is centering on one of the nation’s most active voters – Black women.
Higher Heights, a national organization dedicated to advancing Black women’s political power, launched its revamped #BlackWomenVote campaign earlier this year, providing Black women with the tools to use their voice, activate their networks and communities, and flex their collective voting power to make a difference.
With this campaign, they also launched a new poll to gain insight into how Black women feel about the upcoming midterm elections and the issues currently facing their communities.
The [Change Research] poll found Black women are highly motivated to vote in the Midterm Elections with nearly two-thirds saying they are motivated now more than ever.
The poll, conducted by Change Research in late September – early October 2022, found Black women are highly motivated to vote in the Midterm Elections with nearly two-thirds saying they are motivated now more than ever.
But the motivation to vote is only half the battle. As Lakeila Stemmons, who is the National Director at Higher Heights and leads strategic partnerships for #BlackWomenVote shared: “you prepare to vote, you get out to vote, and you protect the vote.”
And that starts with making a voting plan.
Higher Heights has always been more than a political organization. Leaning on the knowledge that “Black women are most powerful when they move together”, the community is at the heart of the initiative. “It’s a safe space,” shared Stemmons. “We are the political home for Black women and our allies.”
With that, they are committed to engaging Black women and their communities to build political power and leadership. With #BlackWomenVote, they’re making sure Black women feel empowered and informed as decision-makers. They provide election news, commentary, and conversations to ensure it feels like a safe, multi-generational, interactive space.
To lead this commitment, #BlackWomenVote partnered with Motivote to launch at Essence Fest in July 2022. They designed a buildout where Black women could test the platform in real-time, make pledges to vote, and even make their vote plans in person.
They also encouraged women to create teams with their churches, sororities, neighborhood groups, college campuses, or civic organizations. As Stemmons explained, “It’s a truly intergenerational tool and a way to activate everyone in your networks and communities to make sure everyone is getting out to vote.”
At this point in the election cycle, #BlackWomenVote is focused on getting people to make a vote plan for election day.
Stemmons stressed the importance of an intentional and well-practiced plan for anyone committed to voting. You can research your ballot, know who you want to vote for, and have an idea when you plan to vote, but you need to take that information and make a voting plan.
Why is a vote plan so important? It makes voting easier. Whether voting is easy for you or there are aspects that feel more confusing, a plan ensures you’re vote-ready on Election Day (or whenever you intend to vote).
With a plan, you’ve already done the dry run, you’ve set up the calendar alert and text reminders, and know exactly what you need to do.
That’s what Stemmons loves most about the Motivote tool. “You get reminders and it motivates you to stay on top of things like the vote-ready actions. And you get real-life reward points. It’s the motivational new-age technology it offers that makes me love the tool itself.”
And for #BlackWomenVote, those rewards include their legacy swag featuring the colors of Black sororities, new updated #BlackWomenVote merchandise, and a #BlackWomenVote lapel pin reserved for those who reach a certain points threshold.
While the Midterm Elections are the current focus for #BlackWomenVote, Higher Heights is an organization that works 365 days a year.
Higher Heights for America, a 501(c)(4), and its sister organization Higher Heights Leadership Fund, a national 501(c)(3) organization are building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office and creating the environment for Black women to run, win and lead. Motivote will continue to be embedded throughout their initiatives.
As a coalition-builder, Stemmons explains, “There are so many ways to keep people involved with the political process through Motivote. I’m always thinking how can we get this into as many hands as I can.” In addition to the #BlackWomenVote campaign, they are actively working on building out new partnerships with sororities and civic organizations and encouraging them to use Motivote as well.
As Stemmons explains, the ultimate goal is “making sure that Black women are informed, engaged, and that we are not only directing policy, but that we are writing policy, influencing policy, and that we have seats at the table.”