The NAACP Vote Hard Bus Tour is underway, and what a morning it has been!
Posted on October 25, 2008
Bus Tour Update #3 10pm Demetrius Fisher The NAACP Vote Hard Bus Tour just pulled away from Moncks Corner, South Carolina on our final stop for this weekend. What a fantastic time we had tonight. There were about 400 people at tonight's rally, and media everywhere so I wouldn't be surprised if some of these young people get their picture in the paper! We were hosted tonight by Joshua United Methodist Church, and we can't thank them enough. We had local ministers giving the invocation and benediction, and a whole host of NAACP leadership to thank this group of youth for all that they have done today. NAACP board members Madie Robinson from Florence, SC and Gloria Sweet-Love from Brownsville, TN (board member and President of the Tennessee State Conference) came in to cheer on the crowd. We also had Branch President Andrea Glove, treasurer Alicia Brooks, Claflin University NAACP Chapter President Britney Tringle and Akeem Brown, the Political Action Director of the South Carolina Youth & College Division. Think about it. In one day these seven buses hit seven cities across South Carolina with voter education and get out the vote material. The three rallies combined drew well over a thousand people, these young people knocked on hundreds of doors to talk to people about voting, and we passed out thousands of pieces of literature about voting rights and voter education. That's an amazing accomplishment, no wonder they're so exhausted! In the next ten days, I hope that you will take the lead from these youth and do something to tell the people around you just how important it is to use your vote. Check back next weekend when the Vote Hard Bus Tour will be back on the road! Demetrius --------------------------------------- Bus Tour Update 2:45pm, Columbia Stop
Demetrius Fisher This day just keeps getting better. We just pulled away from Columbia, South Carolina, where we had over 600 people at the NAACP Vote Hard Rally. It was so big that Fox News and some of the local papers showed up! I just can't tell you how energizing it is for these young people who got up at 4:30 this morning to get out here and educate voters. The rally was at the Allen University Student Center, and people were packed inside and outside. We had a DJ on the lawn and there were people everywhere with NAACP signs and shirts, people were even stopping their cars to see what was going on! Even better was that Benedict College is literally across the street from the student center, and it was their Homecoming. So we had lots of people coming over from Benedict to join us too. Dr. Lonnie Randolph, the President of the South Carolina State Conference, helped get the crowd charged up. We also had Judge Mildred McDuffy from Columbia, President of the Allen University Student Government Association John Doctor, and Shamieka Johnson, the President of the Allen University chapter of the NAACP. The canvassing is being really well received in the community too; we have people telling us that they are so happy to see the young people out there walking door to door. They are listening to the youth leaders, taking the literature and putting up our yard signs on the spot. These young people will be exhausted by tonight, I know I will be, but this is a day that they will never forget. We're teaching a whole new generation to be community activists, and that's worth getting up at 4am to do any day of the week. We have three more stops to go, then our final rally tonight in the Charleston area at 7pm, so look for my last update late tonight. Shamieka Johnson President, Allen University NAACP It is just amazing to see how many young people were willing to get up so early and be so pumped up to get out there and educate voters. This is definitely one of the most inspiring things I have ever taken part in. The NAACP is so much bigger than just my chapter, and we can do so much when we work together. One of the best things is the rally really brought unity to the Allen University campus. It brought people out who didn't really know what the NAACP was about, and that was wonderful. We got a chance to network, and even increase the membership. Akeem Brown Political Action Director South Carolina Youth & College Division What has inspired me most about the day is seeing the youth out there. It's not just college students; a lot of them are from the Youth Councils. These are high school students who can't vote themselves. But they are out here pushing others who can vote to do it and giving them the information they need. We got up at 4:30 this morning, but the energy of the day is keeping us motivated. We have rallies throughout the day, and just being together is keeping us energized and moving. Everyone in these communities has opened their arms to us and has been as hospitable as they can be. It's just wonderful. -----------------------------------
Bus Tour Update 9:30am October 25th We just left the kick-off rally in York, South Carolina, and it was such a wonderful experience. I opened the rally with a few remarks, then our Bus Tour Musician John Fitzgerald McGill performed some old spirituals. We had words of inspiration and encouragement from Rev. Charles Darden, Pastor, New Home AME Zion Church. Then the Mayor of York, branch and State Conference leadership, city officials, and Congressman John Spratts got the crowd really charged up! We have seven buses making their way across South Carolina today to make sure young people know just how important it is to get out there and cast your vote. It's not just the about the President, it's about the mayor of your town, the school board, the sheriff, the people who are going to make decisions that effect how you live every single day. Judging by the number of young people who got up at 4 am to get on the bus, I know this is going to be a big success. These youth are fired up! We have jam-packed buses from South Carolina State University, Claflin University and the Orangeburg Youth Council with us this morning, and as we make our way to the next three whistle stops we'll be meeting up with buses from Allen University, Winthrop University, Rock Hill and Western York. It is just amazing to see these young people so energized and excited about being part of the political process. Many of them are doing this for the very first time, and they couldn't wait to hit the streets and distribute pamphlets about voting in the community. I wish you all could be here with me, it makes you feel so very proud about the work that the NAACP does to engage our youth. We're on the bus on our way to the next rally in Columbia at noon, but we'll be stopping in Clover and Rock Hill on the way. Check back this afternoon and I'll post news from the Columbia rally. Demetrius Fisher