Activate MS on the road to mobilize Gen Z voters

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Waikinya Clanton (left), SPLC Mississippi State Office Director, and SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang unveil a new target campaign to engage young voters in time for November general elections. Please see pages 2A and 3A for more information. (Advocate photo: Joshua Martin)

JANS – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) launched Activate Mississippi recently with a kickoff reception at Offbeat JXN, 109 North State St. in Jackson. Activate Mississippi entails 10 weeks of targeted programming and community events to expand voter education and engagement throughout the state. 

“Mississippi had one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the United States in 2022,” said Waikinya Clanton, SPLC Mississippi State Office Director.

“Only 32% of the state’s voting population exercised their right to vote. Because of this, it is important that there are programs available to help voters recognize their responsibility and exercise their power. Activate Mississippi is an opportunity for us to engage voters and work in partnership with the community as we enter Mississippi’s statewide elections.”  

In addition to holding town halls and campus discussions in Jackson, Itta Bena, Natchez, Holly Springs, and Hattiesburg, SPLC’s Mississippi State Office will be promoting the Defenders of Democracy campaign, which includes a comic book and coin design contest aimed at engaging Mississippi teens and college students about voting, volunteerism, and mobilization, motivating them to vote. The campaign is in partnership with NAACP ACT-SO Achievement Program and the Mississippi School of the Arts. 

The Activate Mississippi launch reception was followed by a panel discussion at Tougaloo College in the Bennie G. Thompson Building, 500 W. County Line Rd.

Thus far, the SPLC Mississippi State Office has hosted campus conversations to raise awareness for the campaign at Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University. Next up is Rust College on Sept. 19 and on Sept. 25, a Community Conversation will be held at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Activate MS on the road to mobilize Gen Z voters

By Jackson Advocate News Service
September 18, 2023