Happy Graduation Season, everyone!!!
This month, we are acknowledging the challenges of public education and remote learning during the pandemic. Educators, students, and families have had to change their entire lives to adapt to a new normal during the pandemic. And for students who face hardship at home, that may mean lack of access to quality internet or food insecurity or other challenges. BGV staff knows firsthand how difficult this time has been for those who have put in the work and effort to make this transition a reality. And to all of you, congratulations!!! You have made it to the end of another school year.
After the year that we have all had, many of us are ready to unwind and (safely) let loose!! Black Girls Vote has your back. In the summer months, we have a lot of major events coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned and make sure you are following us on social media to find out how you can get exclusive tickets.
We appreciate you joining, supporting and celebrating Black women.
Enjoy your summer!
Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson
With Georgia On Our Minds, Black Women Must Mobilize For Ourselves
Through all the oppression, we continue to want better for an America that rarely wants better for us.
Black Girls Vote’s Founder & CEO, Nykidra Robinson, shares her perspective on the recent voter suppression laws in Georgia. These laws specifically target individuals from low-income, disabled, and Black communities.
Voter suppression is nothing new in this country. But what’s so startling about what’s happening in Georgia is just how blatantly racist and overtly oppressive this new law is, deeming it a crime to give out water and food to those waiting in line for hours just to cast a vote. It feels like we are back in the days of Jim Crow — a real sign that we have a long way to go during a moment of national reckoning on systemic racism.
Black Girls Vote is officially announcing our partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and OSI-Baltimore! Baltimore is now one of the five cities in this initiative to educate communities about coronavirus vaccinations. This $20 million Equity-First Initiative will prioritize communicating with community leaders about vaccine concerns, develop resource hubs that will provide the community with information about general social services that are available, and create mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics.
To read the full article in The Baltimore Sun click here.
In a recent issue of Maryland newspaper The Daily Record, Lauren Wyatt, advocacy lead at Black Girls Vote, was featured in an article regarding Senate Bill 55. Lauren gave a testimony in support of this bill, which passed on April 12th. This legislation is a proposed amendment to the Maryland State Constitution that will clarify the language on where state lawmakers must live. As a constitutional amendment, Maryland lawmakers would have to live in the district that they represent for a minimum of 6 months prior to the election in which they are running. This is a necessary addition because it requires lawmakers to be a part of the communities that they represent, instead of simply having an address in that district.
Lauren is quoted saying:
“When you’re supporting someone who is running for election you want them to know how your street looks because they’ve been driving down them. You want them to know how your housing situation looks because they also maybe have to drive — even if they work in Columbia — they have to drive down that street and see the vacant homes on their way out of the city. They might be vegan and not have food options. They understand the need because they live in the city and not because they just moved there and saw it for a week or two.”
This proposed amendment will be put before voters in the upcoming general gubernatorial election on November 8, 2022.
Ms. Natasha Murphy is Black Girl Magic!! Dedicating her professional life to healthcare and public policy, Natasha is a policy analyst for the region’s largest health insurer, and one of the largest in the country. Prior to holding this position, she was a Kaiser Family Foundation Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar. She also assisted in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the District of Columbia, working directly in the DC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Office as ombudsman. In this position, she was tasked with overseeing some of the most senior staff members in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
Here at BGV, Natasha is our Chief of Staff. She is responsible for prioritizing critical information in order to facilitate efficient executive decision making. As a former advocacy lead, Natasha was featured on ESSENCE’s #Woke100 list, which highlights women who are socially conscious and dedicate themselves to fighting injustice across this nation. She is also a member of the Baltimore City Commission for Women, seeking to establish a high quality of life, equal rights, opportunities, and access to services for all Baltimore women. And she serves as a Founding Advisory Board Member for Baltimore Votes, a local coalition dedicated to providing all Baltimoreans, without prejudice or bias, the information and motivation they need to confidently engage in every election.
Natasha earned her Masters of Science in Public Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, magna cum laude from Howard University. We see you, Natasha! Thank you for consistently raising the bar and paving a path for the Black girls who come behind you.
Our intern, Chiamaka Obilo, was named Harvard College Women’s Center’s recipient of the 2021 Women’s Leadership Award! This award honors a Harvard College senior who exemplifies exceptional leadership and has made a meaningful impact on fellow students, the campus, and/or the community. Chiamaka is also an Earl Woods Scholar and a fierce advocate in fighting climate change through her work in the Alliance for Climate Education. She balances all of this while being a peer counselor, interning with us, and being a full-time pre-med student! Chiamaka is truly a leader in her generation and well-deserving of this honor. Congratulations, Chia!! We recognize your light and uplift your work, as we pass the torch to you: the next generation.
Since the pandemic began, about 493,000 women are no longer a part of the workforce. Black Girls Vote wants to do our part in getting women back in the workplace by providing these job announcements for current listings.
- Community Outreach Coordinator, Every Kid Can Cook
- Director of Digital Engagement, Global Zero
- Recruitment Associate, Edgility Consulting
- Media Planner and Buyer – Entry Level, GPS Impact
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Various Positions
- Evaluation Associate, Sharp Insight
- Futures Without Violence Campus Leadership Internship
- Digital Media Summer Internship, Dow Jones News Fund
After celebrating graduation, have you ever wondered how you will pay back all of your student debt? You are not alone. Join us for a conversation on how student debt impacts Black students and graduates so much, and what we can do about it. Stay tuned for more details!