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Black Voters Matter initiative ramps up in Mississippi

Black Voters Matter initiative ramps up in Mississippi
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Students at Tougaloo College part of the Black Voters Matter rally
MPB News

Get-out-the vote initiatives on college campuses are ramping up in the last days before the November mid-term election. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Volunteers and students are chanting, "When they go low, We go vote" during a Black Voters Matter rally at Tougaloo College near Jackson. The national initiative is an effort to increase voter engagement and education in minority communities.

Cassandra Welchlin is director of the Mississippi Women's Economic Security Initiative and a volunteer with Black Voters Matter. She says more black women are voting in Mississippi than any other state in the country.

"Black women have always been a part of being in the political and social economic movements of this country and particularly in the south and so we're just re-energizing that base and saying let's get out and let's vote and vote for people who have our values," said Welchlin.

Marquise Hunt, a Tougaloo student, says it's important to teach people why voting can make a difference.

"If we continue to educate one another about why elections and not just the mid term election but why any election is important and how the change from federal elections to local elections play a instrumental role in community, then we can really start to move a little bit faster in changing the systems that are in place that continue to oppress black people or people in marginalized communities," said Hunt.

Wendell Paris is a volunteer and a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement. Paris says part of his dedication comes from the murder of his friend and fellow activist in 1966.

"His name was Sammy Younge, Jr. He was a bosom buddy of mine. So the night that he was killed I made a vow to the Lord that would work all my life to try to make conditions better," said Paris.

Polls in Mississippi are open from 7am to 7pm tomorrow. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.