By: Sydney Douglas, Staff Writer
Towson’s Center for Student Diversity and nonpartisan organization Black Girls Vote educated a group of girls about the significance of a single vote in the University Union Saturday morning as part of the University’s Service Saturdays.
BGV is a organization that was founded by Baltimore city native Nykidra Robinson in October of last year. It is a grassroots organization whose goal is to represent the concerns and interest of black women.
“Voter education and voter registration is how we connect, there is a huge disconnect between community and college campuses,” BGV Director of Community Outreach Brittany Harris said.
Harris joined the group when it was just an idea after seeing a post on Robinson’s Instagram. Since then, she has been able to help the group start a network that empowers all of the members though connections to mentors.
“Everything we do leads back to education and economics,” Harris said. “It’s a very important thing for us as women, and as women of color, to educate our sisters and make our voices heard… The lack of education and resources should be alarming to everyone.”
In the 2011 Baltimore city mayoral election, 60 percent of eligible voters were women. Only half of those women actually voted, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.
BGV’s main message is that a woman’s vote is her voice, and that it’s important to be heard, especially for minority communities. BGV seeks to advance policies regarding education, economic development and quality healthcare and is targeting women ages 18-25 to register to vote. Currently, 56% of women in Baltimore city are registered to vote, and just 9% are between 18 and 24, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“I think what I got from it was getting more information to vote and why minorities should [vote],” senior Crystal Croom said. “Personally, I’m not involved in politics but I see why it is important to vote.”
The organization is getting in contact with churches and daycares to provide child care services for mothers to mobilize the vote in the Nov. 8 general election.