The Equity Alliance teamed up with Tumblr to host a “Don’t Boo, Vote!” Halloween – themed and family friendly #VotingIsLit Community Block Party event on the grounds outside the Southeast Library & Community Center located at 560 Hickory Hollow Parkway in Antioch, on Saturday afternoon, October 26, 2018. The event was totally free and open to the public.
“The #VoteTogether event provided the Nashville community with all the right things: music, vendors, resources, and a tasty BBQ on Saturday,” said Victoria McCullough, head of public policy at Tumblr. “The Equity Alliance created an environment to get people excited about how their vote can make a difference, which is really important because recent peer reviewed research from the Midwest Culture Lab shows that the most effective message for getting young people out to vote is joy. To that point, the event was a great time! One of our personal favorite moments was seeing how much fun kids were having at the event.”
The kids enjoyed the bar-b-q, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies and soda and water from one long table, while several local non-profit organizations provided
Halloween goodies along with information and swag. Face-painting was popular as was the variety of tables with candy for trick-or-treating under the big tent. The tent provided shelter from a light mist that occasionally came down, but all in all the slightly chilly weather didn’t dampen the spirits of those who came out for the event.
Hundreds of attendees enjoyed the music of Jason Eskridge and his fantastic band, who played hits by Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, Sly & the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, and others. Most came and stayed a little while and left. Just like the crowd, the band consisted of young and old, black and white folks together to take care of business and to have fun!
This was the third celebration hosted by Equity Alliance, who also provided free t-shirts, voting guides, and insight into the confusing amendments on the ballot. Participants were encouraged to vote at the nearby polling station in the Library during the block party.
State senator Jeff Yarbro was among those who took advantage of the day to get in the long line at the library and cast his ballot. Afterwards he reflected that he had been in the line to vote for over an hour, and couldn’t recall having that long a wait to vote, especially during an early voting period. Among other local political notables, elected officials and public servants who came out to support the event were Karen Y. Johnson, Antoinette Lee, and Tanaka Vercher, among others.
“It’s always important to see the impact of non-profits in their community especially with the midterm elections coming up,” McCullough said. “We see voting as one of the most offline actions you can take on behalf of yourself and your community, and at Tumblr we’re partnering with diverse organizations to support these voices on and offline. For Saturday’s event, it was important to us to support The Equity Alliance in providing the Nashville community with tools to be educated and empowered to vote.
The Equity Alliance is on a mission to proactively advocate for African Americans and other communities of color to have a fair and just opportunity at realizing the American dream. The social network Tumblr is known for its outspoken, civically-minded community, and as a company known for its activism and social responsibility, has the opportunity to change the culture of voting. Together, these are two vibrant organizations that represent the community of future voters and the future representation of America; they push for change, and through #VotingIsLit, are making voting and civic participation joyous and fun for everyone.