Without major events, like music festivals and rallies, Michelle Obama‘s nonpartisan, non profit organization called When We All Vote has become even more innovative with their approach to registering young people ahead of the 2020 election. This Saturday, June 27 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, along with The Roots, the organization is launching the 13th Annual Roots Picnic as a virtual broadcast experience and Call To Action event, to register people to vote.
“We are going to do a volunteer activation and we’re hoping to text 500,000 people [to get registered]. We already know that 15,000 people have signed up [to attend the virtual picnic], so we need even more folks to sign up to be a part of this moment,” explained Stephanie Young, Chief Communications Officer for Communications, Culture and Media Partnerships at When We All Vote. In their last digital event with DJ D Nice, the organization, with the help of their celebrity friends like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and even Oprah and Naomi Campbell, texted over 400,000 eligible voters.
When We All Vote was started by the former First Lady six months prior to the 2018 midterm elections with the goal of increasing voter turnout, especially among young people and within the Black community. She was motivated by the fact that the 2016 election had a 20 year low in voter turnout. After a strong increase in voting thanks to their efforts and those of others in the midterm elections, the When We All Vote team had to quickly take their strategy digital once the Coronavirus began.
“One thing we started to do is just try to figure out how to throw blow out digital events that are fun and engaging and staying true to who we are as an organization, which means staying in culture,” Stephanie added in an EXCLUSIVE interview on the HollywoodLife podcast. “That DJ D Nice couch party showed us right there that there’s a lot of power when we come together and are creative, and we have the right people and tap into the right moment.”
This Friday, Questlove, Black Thought and Michelle Obama will host the virtual picnic on YouTube, that will feature a number of incredible and diverse performances, from artists such as H.E.R., Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch and SZA. Plus, When We All Vote’s active body of celebrity co-chairs will be in attendance, which includes Liza Koshy, Chris Paul, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross. “This is another moment where we’re trying to monopolize and take over a digital platform and get people engaged through voter registration, because we don’t have that space where we can physically be together, but this is helpful,” Stephanie said.
If you’ve been activated by the BLM movement and the George Floyd protests, and you’ve heard the call from President Obama to not just protest but vote, then you can volunteer with When We All Vote as a way to turn your protest into political action. “If you want to do something good for the community, and you’ve been protesting or thinking about ways you can get involved, this is a great opportunity to tap in,” added Crystal Carson, Communications Director of When We All Vote. “We’re going to have a pre-party with some amazing people we haven’t announced yet, and you’ll be trained on our technology called Outvote, where you’ll learn how to text unregistered voters with us and you can be a part of us reaching that 500,000 person goal.” You can sign-up to be part of the pre-party and volunteer to help register voters here.
Available NOW and continuing throughout the broadcast, there will be a call to action to allow fans to register to vote at https://weall.vote/rootspicnic or by texting ROOTS to 56005. Be sure to tune in to The Roots YouTube page on Saturday, June 27th at 8 PM ET to join the picnic!
You can also register to vote here, on HollywoodLife.com, using the box down below!