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#Votes4All Series Takes to Zoom to Highlight Our Power to Create a More Perfect Democracy
FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMS EXAMINE HISTORIC ROLES OF GENDER AND RACE IN VOTING
ORLANDO, Fla. – August 26, 2020 – The Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College, in partnership with a dozen community organizations, will present three upcoming public workshops through the Zoom online platform, continuing a series that began in the spring before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled “#Votes4All: The Power to Create a More Perfect Democracy,” the series examines the role of gender and race in voter suppression in Central Florida’s past. It continues a program of community education inspired by the Ocoee Massacre of 1920, which was ignited after Mose Norman, an African-American man, tried to vote.
In a year that marks the centennial of both the massacre and of women’s suffrage in the United States, the #Votes4All programs seek to illuminate the history of voter suppression in Central Florida as it relates to gender and race and to move toward reconciliation.
“We believe the power to create a more perfect democracy lies in the power of the truth and, as ever, in the power of the people,” notes Rachel Allen, director of the Peace and Justice Institute.
In 1920, following the ratification of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote, Ku Klux Klan leaders expressed vehement opposition to Black women voting and staged marches threatening violence throughout cities including Orlando, just days before the November 1920 presidential election.
“In organizing this series, we sought to bring more attention and discussion to a difficult area in the history of voting rights,” notes Heather Bryson, a historian and Valencia faculty member who helped craft the forum programs.
The interactive programs will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, September 15; Wednesday, September 30; and Wednesday, October 14. For each, the Zoom link will open at 5:45 p.m., and the programs will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by a “Community Connection” period from 8 to 8:30 p.m. for those who wish to continue their conversations.
The basic content of each program will be the same, and participants can choose to attend one or multiple programs. To register, visit bit.ly/Votes4All2020. For questions or more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-582-2291.
#Votes4All has been designed to reach all Central Florida residents. A theme of the project is the importance of every vote in local, state, and federal elections as an integral part of a thriving democracy.
#Votes4All has been supported by grants from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and by community partners including the Alliance for Truth and Justice; the Dorothy Turner Johnson Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; Kaley Square in Orlando; the Lakeshore Center of Ocoee; the
League of Women Voters of Orange County and Seminole County, Florida; the RICHES program at the University of Central Florida; Seminole State College, Valencia College; and the Woman’s Club of Winter Park.
The Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College promotes peace and justice for all. Our aim is to nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community – one where conflict leads to growth and transformation, rather than violence or aggression.