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Black Youth Vote News

August,  2012

Rally Speakers Target ‘Voter Suppression'  8/29/2012 The Ledger: "Mayra Hidalgo had her voice heard Tuesday as a speaker at a DREAM Act Youth March and rally in Ybor City Tuesday evening, just as Republican delegates were officially nominating Gov. Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate."

June,  2012

Fate of 2012 Election Falling Into the Hands of the Tuned-Out Youth Vote  6/19/2012 Alternet: "“Obama has got to regenerate a spark of hope among these young people,” Zogby said, adding that the White House, his campaign and the Republicans know this. That is why GOP legislative majorities in many states have adopted new laws making it harder for young people to cast ballots. Tougher voter ID laws, longer residency requirements, fewer early voting options, and more voter registration drive rules are all aimed at discouraging student and first-time voters by complicating the process."

May,  2012

In 2012 No Party Can Take "All Young Voters" for Granted: Black Youth Project Study Reveals  5/2/2012 Market Watch: ""Obama's success in the fall among young voters depends on how well he executes a two-pronged campaign. Black youth must again be mobilized to turn out to vote and Obama must again appeal to the concerns of young Latinos and whites." --Jon Rogowski, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago "All candidates in 2012, including President Obama, will need to re-engage and continue to mobilize youth if they want their vote--nothing can be taken for granted." --Cathy Cohen, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago and Founder/Director of the Black Youth Project."

February,  2012

Young Voters Called to Arms at NCCU  2/27/2012 Black College Wire: "Students from across North Carolina came in droves Tuesday night to N.C. Central University's B.N. Duke auditorium for Greater Together's National HBCU Student Summit."

December,  2011

Will Young Voters Steal the Show in 2012? Maybe, If Lawmakers Listen  12/22/2011 Color Lines: "Before the 99 percent captured the world’s attention, another number helped energize an often overlooked part America’s electorate: 58 percent. That’s the percentage of black voters between the ages of 18 and 29 who showed up at the polls in 2008 to elect the country’s first African American president. It was an extraordinarily promising number; in an election that drew its strength from the eagerness of young voters, black youth led the charge. Nearly two million more black voters between the ages of 18 and 24 cast ballots in 2008 than they did in 2004. While white voter turnout stayed relatively the same as it had been when George W. Bush won a second turn, the 2008 election showed that young voters of color—including records numbers of young Latino and Asian voters—were now a statistically significant voice in America’s democratic future. "

Young, Black and Voting  12/2/2011 The Root: "Cathy Cohen, a distinguished political scientist at the University of Chicago and head of the Black Youth Project, predicted the low turnout well before Election Day and blamed the national Democratic Party for ignoring young adults. Even though President Obama will be on the ballot again in 2012, there is certainly no guarantee that black youth participation will be strong. Anyone who cares about youth civic engagement should dig beneath broad generalizations and stereotypes and recognize the diversity within all demographic groups, young African Americans certainly included. As a first step, we have conducted a "cluster analysis" of census data on civic engagement. This method identifies groups of people who have different civic-engagement profiles."

October,  2010

Black Youth Vote video offers message of unity  10/28/2010 Vote Again 2010: "Vote Again partner Black Youth Vote just released a new video slideshow with powerful images set to John Legend’s song “If You’re Out There."

January,  2008

Black Youth Vote! Launches College Voter Empowerment Tour Featuring a Conversation With BET's Jeff Johnson  1/31/2008 Sun Herald, Mississipi: "After successfully galvanizing young voters for the South Carolina primaries, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's youth division, Black Youth Vote (BYV) will launch a Justice Speak Out College Tour in Alabama on Thursday, January 31, 2008. The town hall type forum aims to galvanize young voters around issues that impact them and ultimately increase youth participation in the Feb. 5 primary. The get-out-the-vote rally features a conversation with popular BET talk show host and activist, Jeff Johnson and a special performance by rapper/actor, Bone Crusher, at the Miles College location."

Young Voters Could Turn the Tide in Presidential Election  1/31/2008 WSFA, Alabama: "We're seeing a lot of excitement about next Tuesday," said Jean Brown with the Secretary of State's Office. Brown senses the energy among young voters who could be the driving force for a record turnout in Alabama. "They're energized. There is a lot of excitement really mattering this year," she tells us. America's youth are inspired knowing, as a group, their votes could turn the tide in this pivotal election. "If these students can be a catalyst for a larger wave of students, then they become more and more serious to candidates running for office," believes Johnson. So which candidate would benefit from a large turnout of young voters? Experts say, if you look at the numbers, Barack Obama."

November,  2004

2004 not the breakout year for youth vote after all  11/2/2004 AP 

Rock the Vote Irks Republicans  11/2/2004 Reuters 

The Truth About the Youth Vote  11/2/2004 WireTap: "Now that some of the smoke has cleared and the data has been crunched, it's clear that 2004 was, in fact, an amazing year for young voter participation. Whereas only 42 percent of 18-29 year-olds had voted in 2000, a whopping 51 percent showed up at the polls this year, making for a 9-point increase. The catch? Everyone else came out in record numbers too."

October,  2004

Young Black voters, it’s up to us!  10/27/2004 SF Bay View 

CITY SOJOURN: Young, voting and black  10/20/2004 Times Union, Jacksonville, FL 

Hip-hop's influence expected at polls  10/19/2004 Miami Herald 

Slam Bush Crowns a Champion!  10/10/2004 "a 28-year-old street poet from Pittsburgh, PA — has won the first ever Slam Bush National Rhyme Competition. Hosted by Chuck D and with performances by The Roots and Jill Scott, the Slam Bush Championship activated 3000 anti-Bush hip hop voters — a powerful contribution in the crucial state of Florida. For more info and photos of the final event! "

September,  2004

Nat'l Hip Hop Get Out The Vote Tour Launched  9/29/2004 Davey D's Hip Hop News 

Anti-bush Ads Geared To Young Blacks  9/13/2004 "A liberal group backing John F. Kerry is accusing President Bush of opposing civil rights and trying to suppress black voter turnout in a multimillion-dollar ad campaign targeted at young African Americans. The Media Fund, a "527" independent group that has poured $43 million into anti-Bush advertising, plans to air the new television and radio spots in major urban markets in swing states. (The "527" reference is to the section of the tax code that governs such organizations.) "It's a sharper message, an edgier message," fund spokesman Jim Jordan said. "We're looking for voters who haven't been particularly motivated by our party's message previously." "

Hip-Hop Summit Registers Record Number of Youth  9/13/2004 NNPA 

August,  2004

Youth Is Fleeting for Bush  8/12/2004 Washington Post: "Four years ago, network exit polls found that Bush and Democrat Al Gore split the vote of 18- to 29-year-olds, with Gore claiming 48 percent and Bush getting 46 percent -- the best showing by a Republican presidential candidate in more than a decade. But that was then. In the latest Post-ABC News poll taken immediately after the Democratic convention, Kerry led Bush 2-1 among registered voters younger than 30. Among older voters, the race was virtually tied."

July,  2004

Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network's Hip-Hop Team Vote Continues to Build National Momentum toward Election Day 2004, Drawing Thousands of New Young Voters at Its Boston Hip-Hop Summit  7/26/2004 BusinessWire 

Redeeming the Youth Vote  7/21/2004 Alternet: "Conservative and Christian groups in America are cranking up their efforts to get conservative youth voting. This year, many of them are using the same tactics as the non-partisan and openly left-leaning groups doing voter registration and mobilization."

Hip-Hop Generation Eager to Assume NAACP Roles  7/16/2004 Black America Web 

Hip-Hop Summit Registers & Encourages Over 20,000 Youth to Vote  7/12/2004 Dogon Village 

Hip Hop Coming to Democratic Convention  7/9/2004 Davey D's: "As the Democrats kick off their convention at the FleetCenter, another convention of a different sort will be getting down to business across town. A Hip Hop Summit, sponsored by rap entreprenuer Russell Simmons and the Rev. Don Muhammed's Mosque 11, will convene at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Roxbury to organize the city's youth and try to draw the Democrats' attention to the political agenda of the black community."

Cynthia McKinney's plan for hip hop  7/7/2004 SF Bay View: "On Tuesday, June 15, former Atlanta Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney gave a historic address to the hip hop community, outlining the types of positions she supports and the direction she would like to see things move as she bids for another term in Congress. Below are her major talking points. Cynthia McKinney is a strong advocate, mentor and supporter of the hip hop community. Her unique popularity among the members of the hip hop generation and young people across the United States of America has made her a trusted voice on behalf of producers, retailers and consumers of hip hop entertainment. She believes that the Hip-Hop community has the potential to evolve into one of the strongest movements on behalf of social justice and community development. Congresswoman McKinney hosted the first Hip Hop Powershop in 2000 in Atlanta, which featured Afeni Shakur, Kevin Powell and others as special guests."

The National Hip-Hop Political Convention sets an agenda for a new generation  7/1/2004 Miami New Times 

June,  2004

Hip hop headed to the legislature?  6/30/2004 Spokesman Recorder, MN: "Picture this: a National Hip Hop Party Senator from Minnesota toting health care reform legislation in one hand and Mos Def’s latest album in the other. If your first response to this image is incredulous laughter, you may want to reconsider. Youths across the country, including an especially active group in Minnesota, are mobilizing right now to turn the music and culture of hip hop into political capital."

Hip-hop activists snub Kerry, Bush  6/30/2004 The Hill 

This Ain't No Party  6/25/2004 Alternet: "The bus ride, organized by St. Paul-based Nimco Ahmed, a petite 22-year-old Somali American firebrand, was designed to take this motley crew of youngsters – 80 percent of whom were aspiring rappers, according to one rider – through the 'hoods of the upper Midwest and Northeast to register 4,000 people to vote, which would mean 80 delegate seats at the Convention."

National Political Hip Hop Convention  6/16/2004 June 16-19, 2004

Hip-hop and the ballot box - 'Idol' fantasy: Will a new generation turn to politics?  6/13/2004 SF Chronicle 

Hip Hop as a Political Tool  6/9/2004 Alternet: "Over the years there have been numerous voter registration efforts that have boasted thousands of new registrants, yet these activities have not translated into the hip hop generation actually voting in greater numbers. As a result of the hip hop generation's poor voting record, elected officials do not perceive it as a constituency whose concerns matter. Voter registration is an important first step, but there are other steps that are necessary to motivate new voters to actually cast a ballot. In some cases, social change agents can increase voter turnout by reminding new registrants to vote with a telephone call or email a few days before an election or by providing them with rides to and from the polls."

Hip-Hop Convention seeks answer to what's holding young America back - A Nation of Millions  6/8/2004 Village Voice 

Hip-Hop Stars Urge 'Regime Change' At Ohio Summit  6/3/2004 AllHipHop 

May,  2004

National Hip Hop Political Convention  5/28/2004 hiphopconvention,org 

Hip-Hop Activism: Will They Come to Vote?  5/26/2004 Alternet 

April,  2004

Hip Hop Journalist Davey D on Police Surveillance of Rappers, the National Hip Hop Convention and the 2004 Election  4/19/2004 Democracy Now 

Cuba knows how to get their young voters to show up  4/6/2004 Daily Northwestern, IL: "While ballots featured only members of the Cuban Communist Party -- and El Maximo wasn't subjected to polling -- I was inspired by something there. Cuban school children were guarding the ballot boxes, taking part in the process, learning experientially… In 1996 the 18- to 24-year-old population in the United States numbered 24,650,000, according to the Federal Election Commission. That year only 32 percent voted for president. In 1998, the last federal-election year for which the FEC has data, 19 percent voted. Through linking elementary schools and neighborhood voting outlets, and allowing students to personally contribute to the election process we may be able to apply a remedy before the democracy-crippling disease arises. We can plant seeds of interest and incubate a sense of duty. Placing children at the polling stations might even motivate no-show parents to show."

No joke! Chappelle to vote for the first time in November  4/1/2004 Black America Today: "Chappelle, star of Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show, said during an appearance on Air America Radio Network's "The Majority Report," that even though people died during the civil rights movement to give him the right to vote, "it never seemed, personally, that important to me." "I'm going to participate this year," said the 30-year-old black comedian. "But I'm disheartened." "

March,  2004

Young Blacks Have Something to Vote for, Experts Say  3/11/2004 Black America Web 

Black Young People Registering, but Not Voting  3/9/2004 Black America Web: "More than 83,000 people registered to vote in the first two months of 2004 through the Rock the Vote/Rap the Vote youth voting initiative. But while registering to vote via MTV and BET is convenient for many, the real job could come in getting those mostly 18- to 30-year-old souls to the polls. And that hasn’t been easy."

Hip hop summit hits LA with ‘One Mind, One Vote’ campaign  3/6/2004 Final Call 

February,  2004

If You Bump It, They Will Come  2/27/2004 Wiretap: "These are the very questions at the heart of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention taking place this June 16-19 in New Jersey, which bills itself as a "gathering of the hip-hop generation to vote on, adopt and endorse a political agenda." Working with Diaz's NH2A and other activist groups, organizer Baya Wilson sees the convention's focus as different from other hip-hop political initiatives that only deal with candidate profiles or voter registration. By utilizing delegates from around the country, the convention seeks to establish a coherent constituency. "We can go on and endorse and develop a political unity," Wilson told Martinez in a Free Speech TV interview, "So that when these politicians come to the table we can say this is who we are and this is what we want." "

Hip-Hop Artists And Athletes Turn Out To Celebrate Registering 60,000 New Youth Voters  2/18/2004 Griot 

A Call to Black Youth  2/16/2004 Wiretap: "Apathy among black youth is widespread. Negative images dominate the media and airwaves with portrayals of blacks as drug addicts, dealers, hyper-sexual beings at worst and achievers of a sliver of the American dream that hangs in the balance from paycheck to paycheck, game to game, or album to album, at best. In a society that is both racist and patriarchal, feeling a sense of agency is almost impossible if you aren't in the dominant groups in society. We are buying into negative images of ourselves and with drugs in our communities, hoop dreams, and other diversions keeping us from focusing on the way our rights are being chipped away."

Rock, Rap and the Election - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize  2/14/2004 Counterpunch: "In 1985, Rock & Rap Confidential produced the short film I'll Vote On. It documented the efforts of the FBI and local authorities in rural Alabama to jail civil rights leaders for getting out the vote. Most charges (for "vote fraud") were ultimately dropped. But the 2000 Presidential election, marked by the deliberate disenfranchisement of thousands of registered Florida voters, confirmed that the right to vote in America still cannot be taken for granted. Today, spurred by the disaster that is the Bush administration, a growing number of musicians are working to get their fans to register to vote. They range from by Fat Mike of NOFX--to the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, which kicked off a nationwide drive to register 4 million voters in 2004 with a star-studded event (P. Diddy, Beyonce, LL Cool J) in Houston during Super Bowl week."

Hip-Hop Summit Registers & Encourages Over 20,000 Youth to Vote  2/2/2004 Dogon Village: "The Houston Hip-Hop Summit held at Texas Southern University (TSU) Arena in Houston, Texas on Saturday, January 31st, drew an over capacity crowd of newly registered young voters. During an intensive two weeks of "grass roots" registering and internet mobilizing throughout a seven county area of southeast Texas including Houston and Harris County, more than 20,000 youth were registered to vote and encouraged to "get-out-the-vote" on election day."

January,  2004

Join Hip-Hop Team Vote today.... Membership is free  1/24/2004 Hip Hop Summit Action Network 

National Hip Hop Political Convention - June 16-19, 2004 Newark, New Jersey  1/16/2004 Hip Hop Convention 

Sweatshops and the Music Industry - Cold Sweat  1/10/2004 Rock & Rap: "Democratic Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark-backed by Madonna and the Eagles and almost certain to be endorsed by hip-hop capitalists if he gets the nomination-was head of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama, which oversees the U.S. military forces in Latin America which provide backing to local sweatshop-friendly regimes. Clark has also endorsed the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, where, according to Amnesty International, Latin American soldiers are trained in torture and union-busting. P. Diddy's Sean John company recently received an investment of $100 million from Ron Burkle, one of the largest contributors to the Democratic Party and chairman of Ralphs, California's largest grocery chain. Ralphs is one of the companies which forced the ongoing strike of Southern California grocery workers by demanding that its underpaid employees pay up to $5,000 a year for health benefits."

Hip hop gets out vote - Houston event aims to register 10,000 youths  1/9/2004 Houston Chronicle: ""There is a new movement. It is hip hop ... it is the civil rights movement of the 21st century," said U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, among local political leaders and hip-hop artists announcing the event Thursday at Texas Southern University. The event will draw top hip-hop artists such as Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, Lil' Romeo and Master P and feature DefJam Records founder Russell Simmons, who also started the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. Houston recording artist and six-time Grammy winner Beyoncé Knowles also is expected to attend the event. The artists will not perform but instead lead discussions."

Compa$$ionate Capitali$m  1/7/2004 Village Voice: "Russell $immons wants to fatten the hip-hop vote—and maybe his wallet, too."

December,  2003

THE HIP-HOP GENERATION IS MAKING A MASTER PLAN  12/20/2003 Urban Think Tank, Inc.: "The issues identified by Black Youth Vote! that the roundtable participants and the Hip-Hop generation should organize around in the year 2000 include: 1) Criminal Justice Reform. Under current juvenile justice legislation like California's Proposition 21, there is an ever-expanding prison population that is disproportionately comprised of young American men and women of African descent. There is also racial disparity in the imposition of the death penalty, with people of color and the poor being over represented. Lastly, felon disenfranchisement is stripping thousands of young ex-convicts, who have paid their debt to society, of their rights to take part in the electoral process. 2) Education reform. There is inadequate government funding and local support for quality schools in Black communities. There needs to be open debate on the merits of innovative programs like school choice/vouchers, better pay for teachers and a revision of policies that tie school funding to property taxes (poorer communities using this methodology are at an inherent disadvantage). In this new knowledge-age, an inferior education will relegate millions of young Americans of African descent to low paying, menial jobs. 3) Police misconduct. In the wake of the recent shooting death of Amadou Diallo and the assault of Abner Louima in New York City and criminal activities of police in Los Angeles, there must be better legislation to punish criminal police misconduct and to eradicate racial profiling; these police actions primarily affect young, Black male suspects."

The Youth Vote: Why Bother?  12/20/2003 Youth Today: this was published within the last year or so - "But ever since 18-year-olds were first allowed to vote nationally in 1972, 18- to 24-year-olds have found voting so irrelevant that they do it far less than any other age group. Their voting rates have dropped in every presidential election, from 50 percent that first year to 32 percent in 2000, a year of perhaps unprecedented efforts to get them to the polls. (Figures for 2002 are not yet available.) ...A Yale study of Pew’s direct get-out-the-vote efforts found that they cost $12 to $20 for each vote generated. Increasing young voter turnout by 500,000 would cost $6 million to $10 million, the study said. And it’s hard to find a more time-consuming, labor-intensive strategy for reaching voters than canvassing."

Black Voters Ready to ‘Get Even’ for 2000 Fiasco  12/11/2003 NNPA: "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 51.3 percent of the 3.8 million Black youth ages 18-24 were not registered to vote in 2000. And of the 1.8 million who were registered, 65.8 percent did not vote. White youths in the same age bracket also had the lowest voter registration and turnout among their race. A slightly higher 51.7 percent of the 17.2 million White youths ages 18-24 were not registered. Of the 8.9 million registered, 62.8 percent did not vote, slightly lower than the Black youth rate. Black Youth Vote aims to form a street team consisting of 25,000 registrars around the country, especially trained to register and educate Black youth, Greene says. Already, the group has electronic voter registration forms set up on the website of Black Entertainment Television and is planning a bus tour with registrars traveling from Los Angeles to Florida between June and November, registering youth to vote at historically Black colleges and universities, concerts, shows and anywhere young people hang out."

Rap fans are harnessing their political power to take on the issues they care about  12/3/2003 Boston Globe 

Rally supports Chicago's black and Hispanic youth  12/1/2003 Columbia Chronicle, Chicago: "But the cries for equal treatment were drowned out by a second group of counter protesters including members of VOTE, or Voices of the Ex-offender. A representative from the group raised questions about the validity of Jackson’s and other black leaders’ direction in the minority community. “We’ve been coming out here for 30 years and nothing has happened,” said Melvin Bailey, a spokesman for VOTE. “We’re not being represented by these black leaders. We’re being hustled,” he said."

November,  2003

Rocking the Hip-Hop Vote  11/23/2003 The Nation 

Hip-Hop the Vote The Kucinich campaign gets some St. Louis spin  11/19/2003 Riverfront Times, St. Louis 

October,  2003

Hip Hop Political Events in LA Nov 1 & Nov 7th  10/31/2003 Davey D 

National Hip Hop Political Convention Set For June 2004  10/31/2003 Davey D: in Newark, NJ

Expert: Hip-hop is political  10/30/2003 Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY 

Hip-hop generation gets the ear of political suitors  10/26/2003 Boston Globe: "Wearing his trademark three-piece suit, Al Sharpton proudly stood in the 40/40 Club between music impresario P. Diddy and the club's famous owner/rapper, Jay-Z. As if having two of rap's biggest stars at his birthday bash wasn't enough, Sharpton's host was Russell Simmons, the godfather of hip-hop... "I am convinced the swing vote of 2004 is the hip-hop generation," he said during a recent interview... As political analysts warn that the young vote is up for grabs next year -- and as hip-hop music continues to be embraced by youth of every race -- Sharpton is not the only politician betting on hip-hop's political potential. Democratic presidential candidates from Howard Dean of Vermont to John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri have made pilgrimages to New York City to visit Simmons, according to Jody Miller, Simmons's spokeswoman... Next year, Boston will be the host city for a large hip-hop summit prior to the Democratic National Convention, according to Benjamin Chavis, former NAACP president and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The exact time and place are still in the works, said Chavis, adding that the summits were a way to register the hip-hop generation to vote."

Young Activist Leaders Struggle to be Heard  10/19/2003 NNPA 

CNN, Rock the Vote to Co-Host Nov. 4 Democratic Presidential Candidate Forum - CNN’s Anderson Cooper to Moderate Town Meeting in Boston; Young Voters to Question Candidates  10/8/2003 Rock The Vote 

Youth Rising  10/3/2003 Applied Research Center: "In Chicago, African American youth actively support the rights of undocumented students, while Latino students join Black youth in their fight against racial profiling. Students in Los Angeles lead a campaign to redirect $153 million away from paying for swimmingpool filters at wealthy schools toward improving school facilities in South Central L.A. Youth in Harlem draw street corner crowds with guerilla theater about local environmental injustices, while young men in Seattle attend a weekend retreat to deconstruct gender roles and homophobia."

September,  2003

Young, Righteous – and Voting  9/2/2003 Alternet: "A few days after the election, I sent out this memo to 120 hip-hop activists, organizers, and political folks: "Warning everyone: I am fired up about this ... I voted in San Francisco this year and guess what? I didn't know what to vote for on 80 percent of the candidates and ballot initiatives! Lucky for me, someone gave me a Bay Guardian Voter Guide and it saved my life. Still, it took me an entire hour to vote and fill out the eight-page, confusing-ass ballot that was written in three languages. "I'm all for registering and turning out young voters. But unless we give kids voter guides, we're setting them up to feel stupid!" "

Hip Hop and Politics  9/2/2003 Black Vote 2004 

June,  2003

Youth To Leaders National Summit  6/5/2003 Tavis Smiley: "We invite you to join the Tavis Smiley Foundation for the first Youth to Leaders National Summit taking place at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. From August 7 - 12, 2003, 1,000 African American youth from across the country will participate in a five-day summit with Tavis Smiley, elected officials and key national community leaders. This will be a historic event – black young leaders creating a national agenda on their issues."

April,  2003

Hip-Hop Conference Tackles War and Other Issues  4/8/2003 BET: "A hip-hop conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison intends to address the current war with Iraq under the theme of Peace and Anti-Militarism, called "Hip Hop Generation - Hip Hop As A Movement." To punctuate its message, human rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory will deliver the keynote speech at the three-day conference, spanning from April 11-13."

LENNY KRAVITZ RECORDS ANTI-WAR SONG  4/2/2003 EUR: "LENNY KRAVITZ RECORDS ANTI-WAR SONG Rocker is even joined by Iraqi music star Kadim Al Sahir. *Apparently not concerned about the fate of the Dixie Chicks for criticizing George Bush and the war, rocker Lenny Kravitz has recorded an anti-war song. But, being mindful of radio's response to the Dixie Chicks by banning their music, Kravitz, along with a growing list of anti-war artists, has decided to release the song via the Internet. Kravitz issued his song, "We Want Peace," which he recorded last week in Miami with popular Iraqi musical star Kadim Al Sahir, on the website of Rock the Vote (, a national organization which encourages young people to become involved in politics."

We Want Peace by Lenny Kravitz  4/2/2003 Rock the Vote: "Rock the Vote and Lenny Kravitz today announced a new song by Kravitz called " We Want Peace," which will be available exclusively at Rock the Vote's website. The song, which says, "There won't be peace if we don't try" is an urgent call from Lenny Kravitz for America to be a peaceful leader in the world. Kravitz wrote the song and performed it with Kazem Al Sahir, Iraq's #1 pop music artist, who is better known as the Iraqi Diplomatic Ambassador of the world and a true legend of Arabic Music. In addition, the song features Palestinian musician Simon Shaheen on strings and Lebanese artist Jamey Hadded on percussion."

March,  2003

Our Voices, Our Issues, Our Politics! - BLACK YOUTH VOTE! LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE  3/30/2003 Dogon Village: "On April 3 youth leaders from across the country will assemble in the nation’s capitol to discuss Our Voices, Our Issues, Our Politics! during the 3rd annual Black Youth Vote!™ Leadership Conference. Created to provide leadership development and engage young people in the democratic process, the three-day conference will be held at the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, NW Washington, DC. A town hall meeting discussing "The State of Black Youth," will be held 7-9 PM, April 3, in the Blackburn Center at Howard University."

While US Soldiers Fight On The Frontlines, BYV! Prepares Youth To Hold It Down On The Home Front  3/30/2003 Dogon Village: "As some of the strongest members of the African American community ship off to man the frontlines of the war on Iraq, Black Youth Vote! (BYV!) is preparing young leaders to contribute on the home front, seeking to prevent the debilitating affects previous wars have had on their community. Youth activists, celebrities, and elected officials, from across the country will assemble in Washington DC to talk about the responsibility of leaders during wartime, the physical and economic consequences of war, and other issues important to youth during the 3rd Annual BYV! Civic Leadership Conference, April 2-5. “Many of us have friends and family in the Gulf. The BYV! Co-Chair Sharonda Wood is among them,” says Kirk Clay, BYV! co-chair. “Our comrades need to know that, despite our differences in opinion on the war, we are lending our support to their families, and working hard to make sure that strategies are in place for their healthy re-entry into our communities.” "

3rd Annual Black Youth Vote!™ Leadership Conference  3/30/2003 The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation: "Black Youth Vote! is breaking the silence and sustaining the voice of the hip-hop generation during our 3rd Annual BYV! Leadership Conference: Our Voices, Our Issues, Our Politics! The conference is designed to provide leadership development and furnish the blueprint to awaken and engage young people in the democratic process."

Brochure: 3rd Annual Black Youth Vote!™ Leadership Conference  3/30/2003 The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation 

IS LENNY KRAVITZ A HYPOCRITE? His new song encourages young people to vote, but guess who hasn't done that himself?  3/28/2003 Black Web Portal: "The site's investigation has produced records that show, Kravitz registered to vote in New York City in October 1992, giving a Soho address as his residence. He voted in that year's general election (Clinton vs. Bush, etc.), but hasn't been seen since in a Gotham polling place. In fact, Board of Elections records show that Kravitz's registration was placed in an inactive status in December 1999 (where it still remains)."

Hip hop movement joins anti-war voices  3/13/2003 Final Call: "The Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) announced the formation of Musicians United to Win Without War, a national coalition dedicated to preventing war in Iraq. The new coalition joined the broader Win Without War organization at a Feb. 27 news conference in New York to formally express their position. "Millions of youth and supporters of hip hop will become more vocal in expressing their opposition to war. President George Bush and the established media underestimate the resolve of people of good will. People of peace want it established through justice. There can be no peace after an unjust war."

Hip-Hop Summit tells Bush, ‘Win without war’  3/12/2003 SF Bay View: "The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network issued this open letter to President Bush yesterday. It is signed by Russell Simmons and Benjamin Chavis."

February,  2003

Empowering Our Youth  2/28/2003 "Rap the Vote, an initiative of Rock the Vote, held a town hall forum in New York City recently to encourage young people to become involved in the political process. Members of Congress, educators, political activists, and rap artists addressed the crowd of 18 to 25-year-olds on Feb. 21 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). The panelists spoke about the importance of voting and the power it has to address issues that are relevant to young people. U.S. Representative Albert Wynn (D-Md.),chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus political action committee, said increasing dialogue between young people, rap artists, and politicians will help “address issues that matter to young people, like college tuition, tax credits, and childcare credits,” he said."

In a History Making Event Dr. Joseph Lowery Gets “Jiggy” With Rapper NATE the Great  2/1/2003 The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation: " Dean of the Civil Rights Movement featured on rap song"

January,  2003

NAACP youth conference to pay war some mind  1/27/2003 Stamford Advocate: "About 150 students from all over Connecticut will gather next month at the University of Connecticut's Stamford branch for a daylong NAACP youth conference hosted by their Greenwich peers. Rejuvenated last year after two decades of dormancy, the Greenwich NAACP Youth Council has swelled to 40 members and sponsors a variety of field trips and information sessions emphasizing financial independence."

Black Youth Vote  1/21/2003 National Coalition on Black Civic Participation: "The newest initiative of the National Coalition was created to focus on the 18-35 year old black youth voting age population. The National Coalition seeks to empower black youth by educating youth about the political process and training youth to identify issues and influence public policy through participation."

Loud and clear - Speakers focus on youth, responsibility of voting  1/21/2003 Times Daily, Alabama: "As a young, black man, I still have struggles, just like those Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about in the '60s," Hamilton said. "We as black people have become extremely lazy. We were once the hardest working people in the world. Now, we don't even get out and vote."

Black Youth Vote PSA's and Theme Song  1/15/2003 Dogon Village 

Rap has abandoned the revolution  1/15/2003 Japan Today 

Black America in the 21st Century: Compete or Perish  1/1/2003 Black Collegian Online 

September,  2002

Civic Engagement Among Minority Youth  9/1/2002 CIRCLE 

Youth Voter Turnout has Declined, by Any Measure  9/1/2002 CIRCLE 

August,  2002

Hip-Hop Fridays: Davey D's Exclusive Interview With Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney  8/18/2002 Black Electorate 

May,  2002

Young Voters' Apathy Blamed For Blacks' Political Plight; Community Leaders Say Dumas' Loss A Prime Example  5/12/2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "When the executive board of the Community Brainstorming Conference met at America's Black Holocaust Museum a week after the April 2 primary to discuss upcoming forums, everyone knew instinctively what one future topic would have to be -- voter apathy, particularly among African-Americans."

March,  2002

Youth vote missing in primary  3/18/2002 Columbia Chronicle, Chicago: "Chances are, if you are between the ages of 18 and 24, you either don’t know or don’t care about the upcoming Illinois primary. In 1996, according to the Federal Election Commission, Illinois voters 18-24 years of age set a record low at non-presidential primaries, with a whopping 9 percent voter turnout."

September,  1995

Feds Move to Indict Top Leaders Of Politically Strong Chicago Gang  9/1/1995 Chicago Sun-Times: Astute observers will recall that the Feds only really moved against Chicago gangs in the 60's when they tried to supplant the mafiosi drug networks. Wonder whose toes they stepped on this time? -- "Armed with indictments from a federal grand jury, police and federal agents made arrests throughout the South Side and suburbs, as well as within the state prison system. The indictments allege that the gang, using two boards of directors (one inside prison and one outside), laundered money from its enormous crack, cocaine, heroin and marijuana empire through 21st Century V.O.T.E. (for Voices of Total Empowerment). The PAC has lobbied to get Gangster Disciples leader Larry Hoover, who was convicted in 1977 of ordering a drug dealer's murder, paroled from prison, enlisting prominent Chicagoans such as former mayor Eugene Sawyer in the effort. Hoover, 44, has been saying in recent years that he is a changed man, devoted to ending violence among black youth… At a Thursday media conference about the relationship between the Gangster Disciples and 21st Century V.O.T.E., U.S. Attorney James B. Burns said: "They run it." Representatives of the three-year-old PAC have been consulted by a mayoral candidate, civil rights groups and even President Clinton. Two men who had risen to prominent rank within the Gangster Disciples made it to run-off elections last spring for Chicago's board of aldermen. Their showing surprised the city's power structure, although each was eventually defeated. Another local community outreach group, Save the Children Inc., was also named in the indictment. The Gangster Disciples forced members and nonmembers alike "under threats of violence" to buy tickets to a concert that Save the Children promoted, the document says. Save the Children is run by Hoover's wife, who was not indicted."

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