The Concerned Black Clergy and members of its Voter Empowerment Collaborative gathered to inform, inspire and involve Georgians to get out the vote for the November midterm elections.  

Faith leaders and parishioners from all over the state, representing AME and CME congregations braved the rainy night to make their voices heard. The mass meeting was intended to “come against those who are trying to steal the election.”

Attendees were reminded how important the state of Georgia is and why this Governor’s race is critically important. The Soweto Street Beat drummers, trumpeter Julian Junior and choirs from the AME and CME congregations provided stirring musical selections.   

Atlanta Poet Laureate Hank Stewart vocalized his opinion through poetry that we all should get “MAD and Make A Difference!”

“Voters must keep pressing toward the mark – There is still so much worth fighting for,” the poet said.

The Rev. Albert E. Love, who serves as the president of The Voter Empowerment Collaborative and Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church worked together to hold a nonpartisan statewide Mass Meeting to encourage citizens to vote.  

Throughout the program, Love reminded all to “cast that ballot.”  

“If we do not vote, we will miss an opportunity,” the minister said.

More than a dozen speakers all took their turn at the podium to reiterate the importance of exercising a personal and political responsibility to cast ballots.  

“Even when they cheat we can win,” said McDonald, who revealed that the VEC has received reports of early voting irregularities and voter suppression.

Love asked that everyone in attendance encourage others to vote.

Phyllis Blake, statewide president of Georgia’s 120 NAACP chapters, informed the crowd the organization has registered more than 10,000 Georgia voters for this election.   

Representatives from Georgia-based The Urban League chapters said their organization has gone into jails and high schools to register voters.

These groups and others stood for applause at the announcement that 1.5 Million citizens voted early in Georgia, the largest number of early voters in the state’s history.

The Rev. Thomas L. Brown, a CME Bishop, delivered a rousing keynote address.

He told attendees, “It’s breakthrough time.  We are anticipating a breakthrough. Every breakthrough comes at great cost – with great struggle and sacrifice, we will breakthrough Trumpism, and the hateful remarks and rhetoric.  

“Voting empowers us, he continued. “They want a run-off and we ain’t gonna give them that. Don’t be despondent or discouraged – press on to the polls.”

(Photo: Josetta Shropshire / The Atlanta Voice)

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