Looking back at the historic election of Barack Obama as America’s first African American Commander in Chief, pundits and political observers alike often credit women of color as the critical voting bloc that made his presidency possible. Now, as President Obama’s tenure comes to an end, Reta Jo Lewis, a former diplomat from the U.S. Department of State who served under Secretary Clinton in the Obama Administration, is using Women of Color for Hillary to capitalize on that same momentum to elect the nation’s first women president.
During the primaries, Women of Color for Hillary, became the official grassroots network for “volunteers committed to engaging, educating, and mobilizing women, their families and friends to electing Hillary Clinton as the 45th President of the United States.” The collective has reached hundreds of thousands of people – both in person and online – to take part in every type of political organizing imaginable. Whether phone banking or canvassing, hosting forums and community engagement events, Women of Color for Hillary has been about the business of advancing critical conversations on the issues women care about most this election year: equal pay, jobs and the economy, voting rights, student loan debt, college affordability, immigration, America’s role in the World, personal and economic security, social and racial justice. Their voice is unified and the message is clear: Hillary Clinton is the candidate best suited to address the many concerns of women, families, and people of color.
Since its inception in August 2015, Women of Color for Hillary has launched a variety of social media platforms and hosted dozens of events in major primary and battleground states. At every turn, the organization, which consists of mothers, college students, homemakers, working professionals, policymakers, and everyone in between, has played a critical role in garnering support for Hillary Clinton. The #ShesGotMyBack campaign, a signature social media platform created by a young, savvy social media team, showcases the variety of ways in which a Hillary Clinton presidency will elevate and advance causes in support of women and girls. Now, with 41 days until Election Day, the organization is focused on channeling its momentum into fundraising, campaigning, and an aggressive GOTV effort.
The Pew Research Center predicts “[n]early one-in-three eligible voters on Election Day (31%) will be Hispanic, black, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% in 2012.” What’s more, “Hispanics, blacks, Asians and other minorities had a net increase of 7.5 million eligible voters.” Likewise, a recent survey by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps, found “[u]nmarried women, people of color and millennials — voters of the Rising American Electorate (RAE) — are the new American majority of voting-eligible citizens and will make up a majority of voters for the first time in 2016 [and] more than a year out, they already are showing strong enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton.”
Though the race to the White House certainly is not yet won, figures like these play favorably toward 2016 being yet another historic election year. And if Reta Jo Lewis and the Women of Color for Hillary have their way, their voices and votes will be heard and counted this Election Day.