African American News

"Baptist General Convention of Virginia Launches Black Voter Empowerment Sundays"

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Statewide Movement is Part of National Effort on Behalf of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation's Unity '08 Campaign

scott (2k image)Richmond, Virginia - Reverend Cessar Scott, executive minister of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia (BGC) has announced an agreement with the Virginia Unity '08 Campaign to implement "Black Voter Empowerment Sundays," starting September 14 through October 5, 2008. With a goal to engage their 1100 African American churches throughout the state of Virginia, the move is part of a nationwide nonpartisan effort on behalf of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) to organize a ministry of civic participation that galvanizes the Black community to register, verify their names on the voter rolls, and vote in the November 2008 presidential election.

BGC will request each church to register a minimum of 25 new voters and will recruit volunteers to assist with registering within their neighborhoods and at special community events. BGC will reach out to their member churches to assist with voter education, protection, and mobilization.

"The upcoming presidential election is a crucial one. We're encouraging citizens to make every attempt to be first in line to vote in this historic election. We recognize our key role as part of this national movement and know there is no better place to get the message out to the Black community than through the Black Church," espouses Rev. Cessar Scott.

In addition to NCBCP Black Voter Empowerment Sundays, Shaun Jones, director of the Youth and Young Adult Services for BGC, will coordinate a Black Youth Vote Training Program on September 27, 2008. Youth participants active with their youth ministries and local university students are invited to attend.

The offices of BGC are located in Richmond, Virginia, across the street from Virginia Union University, a Historically Black College and University. Voter education and voter registration information will be provided to church coordinators, members and volunteers. Persons interested in participating in either effort can contact Sheryl McDowney of the Baptist General Convention at (804) 228-2421 or Cynthia Downs-Taylor of VA Unity '08 Campaign at (757) 237-7033.

The NCBCP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing Black civic engagement and voter participation. National Unity '08 Campaign partners include, The National Urban League, Black Youth Vote Advisory Board, National Council of Negro Women, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, American Urban Radio Networks, Black Entertainment Networks, 100 Black Men of America and National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Photo: Rev. Cessar Scott, executive minister of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia

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