Black Voters Matter Fund holds voters’ rights rally in Atlanta

The Black Voters Matter Fund's bus tour stopped in Atlanta on June 21. The bus tour is stopping in major cities on the route taken by freedom riders in 1961.
Caption
The Black Voters Matter Fund's bus tour stopped in Atlanta on June 21. The bus tour is stopping in major cities on the route taken by freedom riders in 1961.

Credit: Sarah Kallis

Credit: Sarah Kallis

The Black Voters Matter Fund held a rally for voting rights at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday — one of several stops on the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights bus tour.

The tour started in New Orleans and will go to Washington, D.C., following the route of the 1961 Freedom Riders.

“We are traveling the route of the original Freedom Riders from 60 years ago, to preserve and to protect and put federal protection on our voting rights in the south,” said Fenika Miller, Georgia coordinator for Black Voters Matter Fund.

Miller added that the organization is advocating for Washington, D.C. statehood and H.R. 1, a bill to expand voting rights that passed the U.S. House but has stalled in the Senate.

Several prominent Georgia elected officials, such as U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, along with Georgia Reps. Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta), who is running for secretary of state, and Teri Anulewicz (D-Smyrna), attended the rally.

Johnson honored the original 1961 Freedom Fighters in his speech on Monday, and encouraged attendees to vote in upcoming elections.

Miller also highlighted the ways that the Black Voters Matter Fund is taking action in the wake of Georgia Senate Bill 202, a controversial law that many voting rights groups have criticized.

“We’ve been door knocking, phone banking, and making folks aware about Senate Bill 202 and the changes that are in there,” Miller said.

Georgia NAACP President James Woodall also gave a rallying cry to the crowd to fight barriers to voting.

“We’re going to stand together. We’re going to demand that justice roll down like water and righteousness flow like an ever-flowing stream. And the only way that we’re going to do that is if we band together and say that Black Voters Matter,” he said.