With only one month until Election Day, Americans are inundated with reminders to vote – on TV, social media and in mailboxes. However, a rise of voting suppression has many feeling like their votes don’t matter. And in America, work keeps twice as many Black and brown adults from voting than white adults.
In an effort to increase voter turnout among historically disadvantaged communities, Carmichael Lynch and the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing teamed up to develop a bi-partisan initiative, named #BlackOutTheVote.
The campaign aims to remove one of the largest barriers of voting — the inability of many people to take work off in order to make time to go to the ballot box. The initiative includes local outreach asking businesses to “blackout” or close for some or all of Election Day to ensure that ALL employees get paid time off to vote. In addition, the agency and Penumbra are asking those businesses to black-out their storefronts and social presence leading up to the election with a free #BlackOutTheVote toolkit, featuring assets designed and created by a Carmichael Lynch creative team. In addition to the site and toolkit assets, an earned media and social activations will also drive further awareness.
The launch has gotten off to a fast start. Sarah Bellamy, Penumbra’s Artistic Director, was interviewed about the program on KSTP. And the campaign quickly secured several local businesses to participate, including: The Coven, Reflections Barbershop, Digs (a crafts shop in Minneapolis) and some participating members of Meet MPLS. Conversations are also underway with the Minnesota History Center, several local banks and HealthPartners.
Learn more about the program and view the posters, stickers and social content at https://www.blackoutthevote.org.