New nonprofit registering black women to vote

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A successful kickoff event for the nonprofit “Black Girls Vote, Inc.” has further energized the organization and a community that longs to make a difference.

“The kick off was a huge success,” said Monique Lyle, the director of Black Girls Vote, Inc., a local organization designed to represent the concerns and interests of women, particularly young black women between the ages of 18 and 25.

The group held a kickoff event on November 30, 2015, at Western High School in a drive that helped to underscore its vision to improve the lives of black women one vote at a time.

“We registered over 50 students in the morning [alone],” Lyle said. “We held voter registration volunteer training in the evening where over 30 people got certified as voter registration volunteers, and many who attended the 6 p.m. forum had a number of great ideas regarding how we can make inroads to addressing education, quality health care and economic development.”

The kick off event featured appearances by Associated Black Charities CEO Diane Bell McKoy; Western High Principal Michelle White; Purpose for Life Ministries Pastor Dr. NeVor Mitchner; and Community Activist Malacka Reed-El.

Headed by an executive team that includes Morgan State University graduate Kellie P. Easton; Baltimore native Edward Clark, II; Spelman graduate Tamyra Garcia and others, Black Girls Vote, Inc. officials say they are pursuing an intensive grassroots effort to recruit, train and educate young black women on the election process and political issues impacting them and their families in Baltimore City.

Lyle cited a 2012 Center for American Progress report that indicated that black women voted at a higher rate than any other group— across gender, race and ethnicity— and along with other women of color, played a key role in the reelection of President Barack Obama.

“Our first priority is to train at least 200 women in Baltimore City to conduct voter registration,” said Black Girls Vote, Inc. CEO and Founder Nyki Robinson. “In addition, Black Girls Vote, Inc. will create an agenda in Baltimore City focused on advancing education, economic and health care opportunities for women,” Robinson said.

Founded in October, the organization isn’t affiliated with a political party, but Robinson and Lyle said they are invested in ensuring that black women are well equipped to advance education, economic development, and quality health care and improve outcomes.

“The goal of Black Girls Vote is to close the opportunity gap focusing on family, community and country and lending our collective voice to policies that support Black Girls Vote, Inc. vision, mission and strategic goals to advance education, economic development and advance quality health care while improving outcomes,” Lyle said.

“We are currently working on a high school voter registration and education tour. As those plans are solidified, that information will be on our website.”

For more information about the organization, visit: www.blackgirlsvote.com.