ATLANTA – On National Voter Registration Day, Change Agents from theÂ Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human RightsÂ (Lowery Institute) launched a digital campaign urging people across the country who respect the contributionsÂ Rev. Dr. Joseph E. LoweryÂ made to voting and civil rights, to show their appreciation by signing his birthday card and pledging to vote. The names submitted online will be placed on a giant card and presented to Dr. Lowery during his birthday celebration at theÂ Georgia Railroad Freight DepotÂ on October 10, 2019.
“Every year the Change Agents decide what they will do to celebrate Dr. Lowery’s birthday,” saidÂ Cheryl Lowery, president and CEO of the Lowery Institute. “This year they decided to use new technology to create a way for people across the country to show respect for my dad even though they can’t attend the fundraiser in Atlanta.”
I’Jae Alvarado, a 2019 Change Agent and student at Spelman College adds, “When we ask Dr. Lowery what he wants for his birthday and he always tells us to register voters and make sure they vote because the key to change is through the ballot box. That’s why we are asking everyone who signs the card to pledge to vote.”
The public can submit their name for the card and pledge to vote by visitingÂ loweryinstitute.orgÂ and clicking on “Sign the Card.” People who are able to attend the birthday fundraiser featuring Grammy-winning singer,Â Regina Belle, and BET’s Sunday Best winner,Â Y’Anna Crawley, can also purchase tickets on their website. Contributions will be used to fund the Lowery Institute’s 2019-2020 voter education, registration and mobilization activities on the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Change Agents closed out National Voter Registration Day by partnering with Morehouse College’s Student Government Association to stage a “campus takeover” to collectively register over students on the Atlanta University Center Campus. During the 2018 Midterm elections the Change Agents registered and transported over 300 students to the polls. They hope to register and mobilize over 1000 voters for the 2020 election.
“Dr. Lowery and Mrs. Lowery risked their life so that we would have the right to vote. Our generation recognizes Dr. Lowery as the dean of the Civil Rights Movement and his powerful words resonate: ‘voting is not just a sacred right, it’s a moral obligation’,” Alvarado said. “A lot of young people feel like their vote doesn’t matter; but it does.”
Alvarado continues, “Change Agents already received voter registration training from the Peoples’ Agenda, and we have the popular digital news show, Roland Martin Unfiltered, as a media sponsor, so we’re fired up and ready to get to work on Dr. Lowery’s birthday wish. We will make sure the people in our community understand the importance of voting, know what’s needed to vote, and can get to the polls. We’re also planning forums to make sure students understand the important issues that impact their communities.”
The Lowery Institute is aÂ non-profit organizationÂ dedicated to training, developing, and empowering leaders to improve their communities for the common good. Housed at Clark Atlanta University, their Change Agent program focuses on civil and human rights, social justice, education and community health and has grown to over 100 Change Agents each year spanning five metro Atlanta college campuses. In 2019, Change Agents were awarded $5,000 for social justice initiatives, $12,000 in stipends, earned five internships and distributed more than 40,000 pounds of food to students in need.
For more information, to sponsor, sign the card or purchase tickets visitÂ loweryinstitute.orgÂ or call 404.524.8406.