“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
– Shirley Chisholm
The words of historic trailblazer and first Black woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm, embody the spirit and values of Black Girls Vote, Inc. (BGV) and the core of our purpose. BGV is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Baltimore committed to uplifting the black community through education and inspiring black women to understand the public policy decisions affecting our families and communities. Black Girls Vote was strategically launched by Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson on November 30, 2015, (Shirley Chisholm’s birthday) at Western High School, the oldest all-female school in Baltimore City.
Black Girls Vote is dedicated to using our collective voice to transform areas where bias has the most profound impact on the lives of all women. We aim to engage, educate, and empower women of color, seeking to bring change through advocacy, outreach, and building our strength in numbers.
Our reach and impact have contributed to the registration of over 16,000 voters. Black Girls Vote has grown to 5.8K Instagram followers, 7.9K Facebook followers, and has participated in well over 1,000 outreach and civic events within its nearly five years of existence. Our engagement approach focuses on meeting voters where they are, and we’ve registered voters at local Starbucks, area concerts, high schools, hair salons, and night clubs.
Black Girls Vote is committed to investing in the next generation of voters and civic leaders and is proud to have expanded our presence onto college campuses by way of our Ambassador Program. In March 2018, we launched our first collegiate chapter of Black Girls Vote at Morgan State University, with American University following in April 2019 and North Carolina A&T State University following in September 2019. We are just gaining momentum and do not plan to stop there!
Democracy Doesn’t Stop: Civic Engagement During COVID-19
While we have suspended our in-person registration and outreach activity in light of COVID-19, Black Girls Vote is still working (virtually) to keep voters engaged, educated, and empowered ahead of what’s sure to be an unprecedented election season. Whether it be postponed primary elections, changing voter registration deadlines, or new vote-by-mail options, Team BGV is keeping the community up to date on the ever-changing electoral landscape.
Recently, alongside our local democracy partners (Baltimore Votes, No Boundaries Coalition, Out for Justice, Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Common Cause Maryland, and League of Women Voters of Baltimore City), Black Girls Vote participated in webinars to answer questions and address concerns about Maryland’s upcoming primary election. Check out a recap here.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a registered Republican, Democrat, or Independent, ALL of us are impacted by COVID-19. To ensure your vote serves as your voice for Election 2020, we encourage all Marylanders to:
COVID-19 has thrown us all for a loop and it will take all of our collective efforts and sacrifices in the coming weeks. We are in this together and Team BGV encourage you to stay positive and protect your physical and mental health.
To join learn more or join Black Girls Vote as we engage, educate, and empower – visit our website at www.BlackGirlsVote.com and follow us on social media @BlackGirlsVote.
— Natasha Murphy and Nykidra Robinson