FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2020
Leading Virginia Black Women Encourage Women to Vote Early and Highlight Importance of Voting this Election
Yesterday, to celebrate National Black Voter Day, Biden for President Virginia hosted a “Sister to Sister: Mobilizing in Action” virtual roundtable with award-winning producer Mona Scott-Young, Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney Stephanie Morales, Democratic activist Ebony Guy, and other leading Black women in Virginia. The call to action encouraged Black women to vote early starting September 18th, highlighted the stakes in this election, and underscored the urgency with which we need to turn out for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this cycle.
Below are key quotes from today’s roundtable:
“It’s a matter of life and death literally. For the first time, we’re faced with the fact that our leadership is killing us,” said Mona Scott-Young, award-winning producer. “It isn’t about politics as much as it is about having someone in place that clearly does not care about what is important to us, does not even care if we live or die. How can the stakes get any higher? Everything from the way this entire pandemic has been handled is a travesty. When you look at what is happening with Black Lives Matter, that is a direct result of the racism, bias, the hate, the division, that not only is being sown on a daily basis, but that is being encouraged and is being amplified by the person that is leading this country. He clearly is sending a message to us that we don’t matter. If you ask us what is at stake, it’s my life! What can be more important than my family, my sisters on this call. It’s so basic for me. … We prepare for everything else! Let’s prepare to do what we need to do to turn out this vote.”
“I am a black woman first, a mother of four black children and a wife of a black husband. I am interested in seeing our Black people not just live, we must get to live, but how we begin to thrive, and how we invest in Black communities. We know that Black women have worked tirelessly for the Democratic Party and for every entity within our country and it’s time for the voices of Black women to be heard if we truly want to succeed as a nation. I am glad that the leadership team of Biden and Harris have united in a way that they are listening to the voices of Black women,” said Stephanie Morales, City of Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney. “One of the issues that Black women face is this discussion around maternal health. That is one thing our sister Kamala Harris has talked about frequently; health disparities for women. We see that Black people are dying at an alarming rate from COVID-19. And I have to say our sister Breonna Taylor who lost her life at the hands of police. … All of these things directly tie to who we have in office. Who is willing to fight for the health, for the life, and we have to talk about not just the living but the thriving. How are we going to begin to invest in the community? How are we going to build intergenerational wealth? The only way we can do this is to get the knee off the neck of our people, and get those in office who are here to harm us out.”
“In Southside Virginia, we were very rich in textile and tobacco once upon a time. We know that a lot of those jobs aren’t coming back. We know we need people in place in technology and healthcare and all these different areas. We need someone in office who understands not just what we were, but what we can be, and that is something that speaks to several communities in the United States. … We need to make sure that with a Biden-Harris ticket, we have people in place that see the potential of all these small towns,” said Ebony B. Guy, award-winning organizer and community advocate. “It’s so important that we get people in place that we can hold accountable. People we can say the science says this’ and they believe it. We need people to realize the environment is crying out for help. All of these things intersect with the Black women’s vote because we have our hands in so much at once. We need somebody that can understand that we have several irons on the fire, and all of them matter and all of them need attention, and I think a Biden-Harris ticket will do that as far as making sure that even the least of things are heard.”