ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 29, 2016) — The League of Women Voters Minnesota on Friday launched “Your Vote Your Voice,” a new resource for high school classrooms and a first of its kind website to cover the history of voting rights in the U.S. from pre-Independence through the present and into the future. The site can be found at www.yourvoteyourvoicemn.org.
The project, made possible with funding from The Joyce Foundation, is a collaborative effort of 13 organizations. The content reflects the perspectives of communities who have been — and continue to be — disenfranchised by the American system of government. “Your Vote Your Voice” aims to be a launching point for a deeper understanding of the past and for critical reflections on the political system today.
Rodolfo Gutierrez, executive director, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER), said “Your Vote Your Voice” underscores the potential through projects and partnerships.
“When we properly unveil history, when we can understand history, and when we really learn from history, we can then better understand several of today?s problems and can do something to fix them,”Gutierrez said. “Organizing, rejecting the same mistakes our communities have made, identifying ourselves as one and only human race, with differences, but without inequities, we can build a better history for our future generations. One with hope and love.”
That message resonates with League of Women Voters Minnesota, said Susan Sheridan Tucker, executive director, LWV Minnesota.
“This project has provided an opportunity for LWV to cultivate new relationships and to renew our commitment to equity and inclusion, shares, and while we know we have a lot of work ahead of us, we?re embracing the challenge to be better community partners,” Sheridan Tucker said.
Sina Black, state director of Minnesota Voice, said that relationships are a necessary component to successful partnerships.
“We’ve worked in partnership with the LWV over the last year helping to facilitate the building of trusting relationships with organizations led by and serving people of color in Minnesota,” Black said. “LWV is showing everyone that they are serious about diversity and inclusion by the way they’ve designed this resource. Actions speak louder than words which makes me hopeful, that we’ll continue to work together on diversity and inclusion, by way of civic engagement, this year and into the future.”
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who is spearheading an aggressive multi-pronged voter outreach program for high school and college students stresses, said it is critical to not only get young Minnesotans engaged in the civic process, but to everything possible to get them started with good voting habits.
“This project provides students, teachers, and adults the platform to begin important conversations about becoming a voter, the struggles many Americans have unjustly faced and continue to face, and the steps communities can take to help make voting easier for all eligible citizens,” Simon said. “Our vote is our voice, and thanks to the League of Women Voters these voices are being heard.”
Visit the site at www.yourvoteyourvoicemn.org and look for updates on twitter @yvyvmn.
The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan, 501(c)3 political organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. To learn more visit www.lwvmn.org , or call us at 651-224-5445 x 231.