Leaders Meet For “A Call to Colors” Strategy – GDN Exclusive Part XXby Cash Michaels, GDN Contributing Writer October 3, 2018
With time running out before the November 6th midterm Elections, Reverend Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, President of the NCNAACP, and Greater Diversity News (GDN) Publisher, Attorney Peter Grear, and convened a pivotal teleconference of civic and community leaders statewide September 27th to discuss “best strategies” on how to maximize “A Call to Colors,” a non-partisan voter registration effort mounted by GDN, targeting all North Carolina Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), social organizations (Greeks, Masons, etc.) for black voter participation.
The goal is to register as many HBCU students across the state as possible, including during the One Stop-Early Voting period of October 17th – November 3rd, after the official voter registration period has ended.
But the campaign also has a voter education and mobilization component as well, so that informed student voters can intelligently cast ballots based on the issues that are most important to them, and their institutions.
It has been endorsed by a wide variety of HBCU Presidents and their National Alumni Presidents, elected officials, Masonic and business leaders across the state.
Working with Dr. E. Lavonia Allison, former Chair of the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus (NCBLC); N. Carnell Robinson, former Chair of the NCBLC; Gerry McCants, President and owner of McCants Communications Group, Inc. of Greensboro, among others, Dr. Spearman stated categorically at the top that “…as we all know, we are fast approaching, what many view as the most critical midterm election in our recent history.”
Spearman continued, ‘It signals a time when we must come together, and declare that black people are no longer going to allow people to make decisions for us, who do not have our best interests in mind.”
Reiterating that the goal of the teleconference was to “mobilize black voter participation” in the November midterm elections “…like never before,” Dr. Spearman pledged that the NCNAACP “…stands ready to do all in our power to support, in whatever ways we can, GDN’s “A Call to Colors (campaign)”, which I have been a supporter of since I got word about it.”
Dr. Allison stressed that all ten North Carolina HBCU campuses should be targeted with an 18-day (October 17-November 3rd) early-voting strategy to maximize voter registration and one -stop voting (voters can register and vote on the same day).
One –stop voter registration ends Saturday, November 3rd.
November 6th is Election Day, with polls open statewide from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Their strategy calls for each HBCU’s National Alumni Association chapter to immediately begin working to have students on their respective campuses, registered to vote, and to outreach to their local NAACP branches, Greek letter organizations, student government associations and student social groups on campus in doing so.
Grear said “The way I envision it, each HBCU in North Carolina should provide the “person-power” to mobilize the agreed upon plan, which should include outreach to the NAACP, so that we’re all organizing on the same platform.
“Every part of North Carolina, particularly down east, we need to get people mobilized to vote,” Garry McCants added. “We need to do voter education there.”
There is growing concern that because of the destructive impact of Hurricane Florence in recent weeks, many prospective voters will not be able to participate in the upcoming elections.
The NAACP has recommended a strong mail-in ballot campaign for those voters.
Mondale Robinson, the national NAACP’s North Carolina Director of voter turnout for 2018, said in his capacity, he will be hiring 125 canvassers across the state, to work in various black communities, including on HBCU campuses, to contact over 300,000 voters for November.
Robinson particularly noted that through research, there are five North Carolina counties where black voter participation needs to be maximized – Wake, Pitt, Cumberland, Mecklenburg and Guilford.
The conveners said that there will be follow-ups with representatives of the various HBCUs and the heads of their National Alumni Associations, as well as the Greeks, Masonic lodges, the Eastern Stars and other civic/social organizations.
Supporters of A Call to Colors are urged to sign-up for GDN’s free-weekly eNews publications to stay abreast of developments at: www.greaterdiversity.com.
Long live the spirit of “A Call to Colors”!