*(WASHINGTON, DC) – This week, more than 18,000 people from across the country joined a tele-town hall to discuss how to defend voting rights without Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.
The town hall was hosted by a coalition of civil, human, environmental and labor rights groups. The audio of the town hall is here.
Leaders who spoke during the town hall included CWA President Larry Cohen, NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey, Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, NAACP LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Iffil, La Raza President & CEO Janet Murgia, National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton and Voto Latino President/CEO Maria Teresa Kumar.
The call also featured a statement from Civil Rights pioneer Myrlie Evers-Williams read by her daughter Reena Evers-Everett. In the statement, Evers-Williams remarks:
“This week the Supreme Court set us back nearly fifty years. They threatened our legacy. They threatened our country.
But fifty years ago our people stood in unity to gain access to the ballot box. We crossed railroad tracks and bridges to register our fellow citizens to vote. We withstood fire hoses and dogs and stood up to those that would not open the door to our Democracy.
My husband Medgar and courageous leaders risked everything to register citizens to vote. We knew what they fought for.
I never thought that I would say this, but today the situation is just as dire.
It is not enough to just remember the legacy of Medgar Evers. It is not enough to just be members of our respective organizations.
We will have to put action to our affiliations and we will have to remember what originally brought us here.“
The group committed to work together to encourage Congress to pass a new formula and prevent states from passing discriminatory voting laws.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.