Oprah Winfrey is doing her part to ensure that Black women get out and vote by launching an election initiative on her OWN network.
The campaign titled OWN Your Vote is a bipartisan campaign in collaboration with national and local grassroots and voting rights organizations, which includes the NAACP, Color of Change, and the ACLU. The initiative will provide tools and resources to Black women and their communities ahead of the November election.
“We find our nation on the precipice, a true tipping point,” Winfrey said. “Our audience has a powerful voice. I am proud to be a part of this movement that will create the change we want to see for our country.”
OWN Your Vote comes amid widespread voter suppression in Black communities, particularly in Kentucky and Georgia, as the United States continues to take a beating from the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 and the racial justice movement have highlighted the need for urgent policy reform to balance disparities that exist regarding affordable health care, systemic racism, and racial discrimination,” said OWN president Tina Perry. “We are proud to announce this important bipartisan social initiative that supports and empowers Black women to use their voice to face the issues in America they find paramount this election season. When she votes, she influences elections, and it has never been more critical to use OWN’s wide-reaching platform to ensure our core audience has the tools needed to register and cast an informed vote this fall.”
To help steer the campaign in the right direction, OWN held a political impact tracking study between November 2019 and February 2020. During the study, they interviewed a nationally representative sample of 800 Black women of voting age. The study discovered that that affordable health care and racism/discrimination are the two most common issues of importance to Black women this election season. In fact, three out of four respondents revealed that they feel these issues are “very important” when deciding who will be the next president in November. Other major issues of concern were education, the justice system, protecting Social Security, access to quality mental health care, and the economy, which continues to take a hit from the COVID-19 outbreak.