Through civic engagement, voter registration and voter education, our work centers on creating a more inclusive, informed, and stronger democracy. We believe that democracy works best when everyone has a chance to participate, has equitable access to the voting booth, and is empowered to make their own informed choices on who represents their values, interests and issues.
Co-Founder Tequila Johnson Testifies Before Congress on Protecting Voting Rights
Black Citizenship in Action Academy
Black voters in Tennessee have been disenfranchised through systemic means. Representation matters, and it is important for black voters to see themselves in the democratic
process through the appointed, civic, and elected leaders in our community. We promote Civic
Leadership by encouraging people of color to take leadership roles in shaping policy on the local, state and national level. Through intensive 4-6 week learning workshops, our Black Citizenship in Action Academy will develop the next generation of black civic leaders. We intend to work to ensure that black people can exercise our full rights as citizens, and can shape our democracy to its fullest potential. We will hold local events that deepen our community’s shared understanding of our past and present, our rights as citizens, sharpen our analysis of the political landscape in which we are operating, and collectively develop winning strategies to demand a country that values our lives and strives toward justice and equality.
Tennessee Voter Guides
Our Voter Guides are free, nonpartisan, public resources to help citizens make an informed, confident decision in the voting booth on Election Day. Our guides include unbiased candidate profiles, roles of each elected office, polling locations and hours, voter ID requirements and much more. The Nashville Voter Guide is available for download at www.nashvillevoterguide.com.
Souls to the Polls
Faith-based community organizing has been a tried-and-true strategy to reach black voters since the Civil Rights Movement. In an effort to get Souls to the Polls, The Equity Alliance partners with the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF) to conduct voter registration drives at African-American churches in Nashville. Our goal is to have 100% of eligible church membership registered to vote. Volunteers are deployed to church services on Sundays to engage and register voters. We host various GOTV activities, including block parties, rallies, phone banking, and rides to the polls.
Black Women for Tennessee
We strongly believe that black women can and will make a collective impact in Tennessee. Through events like our June 6th, 2018 gathering of more than 300 black women at the Tennessee State Capitol and our Black Women’s Empowerment Brunch, we are fostering an environment that builds coalitions and bridges generational gaps. It is our goal to ensure that the votes of black women are never taken for granted; to unite all black-women-led and women-led organizations from across the state to register, inform, and mobilize voters.
Nashville Unchained is a coalition of four of the most powerful black organizations in the city: the Nashville branch of the NAACP, the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, Gideon’s Grassroots Army for Children, and The Equity Alliance.
Aye-For-An-Aye Statewide Listening Tour
Six months after The Equity Alliance led the Tennessee Black Voter Project that registered 91,000 black and brown Tennesseans, the State passed legislation that would enforce the country’s most aggressive civil and criminal penalties on third-party organizations that submit deficient forms during large-scale voter registration drives. The Equity Alliance has filed a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality.
We launched the Aye for an Aye campaign as a direct response to the state’s voter suppression law. For each “aye” vote the legislation received, we pledge to register 100 voters who commit to voting in the 2020 election. To achieve this goal, we are hosting listening sessions across the state to educate attendees about the voter registration criminalization law and mobilize them to take action before the law goes into effect in October.