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League of Women Voters Minnesota launches Your Vote Your Voice website

League of Women Voters Minnesota has launched Your Vote Your Voice, a new resource for high school classrooms, generously funded by The Joyce Foundation. The website is the first of its kind to cover the history of voting rights in the United States from pre-Independence through the present and into the future. The site can be found at www.yourvoteyourvoicemn.org.

The project is a collaborative effort of 13 organizations.The content reflects the perspectives of communities who have been — and continue to be — disenfranchised by the American system of government. Your Vote Your Voice aims to be a launching point for a deeper understanding of our past and for critical reflections on our political system today.

Rodolfo Gutierrez, executive director of partner organization, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research, underscored the potential through projects and partnerships like Your Vote Your Voice.

“When we properly unveil history, when we can understand history, and when we really learn from history, we can then better understand several of today’s problems and can do something to fix them,” he said. “Organizing, rejecting the same mistakes our communities have made, identifying ourselves as one and only human race, with differences, but without inequities, we can build a better history for our future generations. One with hope and love.”

According to a press release, that message resonates with League of Women Voters Minnesota.

“This project has provided an opportunity for  League of Women Voters to cultivate new relationships and to renew our commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Susan Sheridan Tucker, executive director of  League of Women Voters Minnesota. “And while we know we have a lot of work ahead of us, we’re embracing the challenge to be better community partners.”

“Relationships are a necessary component to successful partnerships,” State Director from partner organization Minnesota Voice Sina Black said. “We’ve worked in partnership with the  League of Women Voters over the last year helping to facilitate the building of trusting relationships with organizations led by and serving people of color in Minnesota. League of Women Voters is showing everyone that they are serious about diversity and inclusion by the way they’ve designed this resource. Actions speak louder than words which makes me hopeful that we’ll continue to work together on diversity and inclusion, by way of civic engagement, this year and into the future.”

“It’s critical that we not only get young Minnesotans engaged in the civic process, but that we do everything we can to get good voting habits started early,” Secretary of State Steve Simon, who is spearheading an aggressive multi-pronged voter outreach program for high school and college students said. “This project provides students, teachers and adults the platform to begin important conversations about becoming a voter, the struggles many Americans have unjustly faced and continue to face and the steps communities can take to help make voting easier for all eligible citizens. Our vote is our voice, and thanks to the League of Women Voters these voices are being heard.”

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan, 501(c)3 political organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. To learn more visit www.lwvmn.org or call 651-224-5445 ext. 231.