On behalf of our Original Gullah Festival Family, I hope that you are staying as safe as you can. Please follow the advice put forth by your state and local officials - continue to practice social distancing, wear face masks, and wash your hands. IT'S VOTING SEASON!!! We need everyone to be healthy, socially active, registered and ready to vote. Please review, share, and activate these or similarly structured suggestions for yourself, friends, family, and/or youth groups.
Consider becoming a poll worker. Due to COVID-19, many Boards of Elections are looking for volunteers to help serve as poll workers on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Visit here to find out if you qualify to be a volunteer. Some states are offering training and PPE to volunteers as young as 16, and may even offer payment for time worked. Qualified volunteers must be registered to vote in SC.
Social Media Blitz - Have your youth commit to one day a week when they will post on their personal social media accounts an encouraging message about voting. Posts should not mention party affiliation, but rather they should encourage readers to vote in the upcoming general election. If it helps, have them add websites like www.rockthevote.org, www.whenweallvote.org, or www.vote.org. Encourage the use of hashtags like #VoteEarlyVoteOnce or simply #VOTE.
Need a Helping Hand? Does your church, social, civic, or grassroots organization have any opportunities where community youth can help you activate and educate others about voting? Don't be afraid to ask them to help hand out fliers or call senior citizens to ask if they have a plan to participate in the voting process. Have they registered to vote? Have they requested an absentee ballot? No one is too young to talk about voting rights.
MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE! Due to changes within the US Postal Service, many people may not be able to vote via absentee ballot. Please consider helping your family and friends get to the polls. Make sure they are prepared to be there for a long time. Encourage them to bring a chair, bottled water, lunch or snacks, and something to read. Do they need sunglasses and sunblock or do they need a blanket? Don't forget to dress for the weather! Encourage youth groups to research ways, and if possible, help voters while they wait by organizing pizza or sandwich deliveries, beverage drop-offs, etc. Voting is not supposed to feel like a chore. Make the activities you plan fun and energetic!
Who's on the Ballot?? Be an educated voter! Research the candidates up for election or re-election in your areas. Remember, the posts for President and Vice President are not the only items on the ballot. You need to know who is enforcing policies at your state and local levels. Research your candidates' voting records and vote for those who support your values.
NOTE: The 2020 US Census is still open! Yes, you've still got time, but hurry! It takes about 10 minutes to complete the online form. Visit www.2020census.gov for more information. Remember that the census provides funding for community programs, so make sure you and your neighbors are counted. Let's engage on purpose and get everyone to the polls. Be blessed & be a blessing! Kenyana Briscoe #GullahGriot