In 2020 our family got involved in the BLM protests and we mobilized our family members to make sure they registered and voted in the November 2020 election. A lot of the mobilization was done during the reunion planning (we were virtual last year). Do you have any suggestions on what we can do this year to make sure the family continues to stay involved?
In 2020, the election focused on a national office, the Office of the President, so it was common to all family members in the United States regardless of where they lived. In 2021, elections are geographically focused with different candidates at the local, state and national levels. So, it may be more of a challenge to rally the family to vote. Continue to focus on encouraging voting in the family communication channels such as Facebook. Many families continue to hold virtual gatherings while awaiting the next reunion. If this applies to your family, ask if voting can be a standing topic on the agenda.
You may want to form a voting action committee. It can be national, by family chapter, or geographic region. The voting action committee can develop a communication plan for the year with regular postings on the family’s social media. For example, one month the communication can emphasize the importance of taking your children with you to vote in order to set an example that will influence them for a lifetime.
Those family members that participated in the BLM protests can share with the family and encourage participation in their initiative, the Electoral Justice Project. This BLM project consists of over 50 organizations that have banded together to mobilize the Black vote through various electoral strategies.
Also, consider focusing your family on issues that impact voting rights such as voter suppression efforts. Voting is a vital right that shouldn’t be undermined. Yet, there are initiatives around the country, including recently passed laws in some states, with the intent to suppress the vote. The family can find out what is happening in their state and mobilize family members to collaborate to halt these efforts no matter what geographical area they may be taking place.
Although I don't know the specifics of what you did last year, I strongly suggest you repeat in some form whatever you did. It worked. You said your family members were involved. This year, however, you may want to add to whatever was successful last year. For instance you may want to set up a forum on your family Facebook page, website or Messenger conversation where family members can post info about their latest BLM activities or thoughts about ongoing abuse/racism /injustice in our nation. Keep the conversation going. You may also want to set up an event to discuss BLM activities, etc., which could be separate from—or a part of—your next reunion.