Voter Suppression and the Fight to Vote

Host Organization: Othering & Belonging Institute


Fifty-five years after the passage of the Voting Right Act of 1965, the right to vote is being subverted by domestic and foreign actors, federal and state governments, counties and courts. The fight to vote has taken on legal, advocacy and grassroots organizing dimensions in many parts of the country. This third Rise Up for Justice livestream discussion will bring together some of the strategists, organizers and lawyers who are on the frontline of the battle to ensure that everyone’s vote counts and every vote is counted.



  • LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the BVM Capacity Building Institute
  • Desmond Meade, J.D., Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, and Chair of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Men’s Roundtable
  • Brianna Brown, Deputy Director of the Texas Organizing Project, the largest grassroots, community-based organization in Texas
  • Gerald Lenoir, Identity and Politics Strategy Analyst for the Othering & Belonging Institute’s Network for Transformative Change

A Black-led movement demanding police accountability and justice has galvanized anger, grief, and frustration over the repeated killings of Black men and women both historically and in the present day—but also hope for a future rooted in true belonging. People worldwide are participating in a pivotal uprising that will reshape not only our relationship with Black communities, but also our collective future. A new livestream series, “Rise Up For Justice: Black Lives and Our Collective Future,” from the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, is providing space for cutting edge conversations among activists, scholars, journalists, and other thought leaders to provide context and analysis on this transformative moment and envision what comes next in the movement for racial justice.

The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change. We are a diverse and vibrant hub generating work centered on realizing a world where all people belong, where belonging entails being respected at a level that includes the right to both contribute and make demands upon society and political and cultural institutions.

Black Voters Matter goal is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

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