Black Voters Matter make stop in Salisbury to raise awareness and inspire Black voters

Published 12:09 am Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Black Voters Matter organization made a stop in Salisbury Wednesday during its nationwide “We Won’t Black Down” bus tour.

The self-described “Blackest Bus in America” set up in the lot across the street from the The Reach Church on W. Horah St.

The campaign in North Carolina made its last stop in its bid to inspire Black voters to get to the polls in November and make their voices heard. The group also took the time to raise awareness about issues surrounding multiple bills and N.C. Supreme Court cases that have been raised recently, according to Aniyah Vines, the organizer for the Piedmont region. The bus had made previous stops in Durham, Raleigh and Vance County.

According to Danielle Brown, a state organizer for the group, the three cases that the group is specifically targeting all revolve around voting rights in the state. The group is raising awareness about cases involving felon disenfranchisement, redistricting voting districts and photo I.D. requirements.

The group also registered voters and used the event to take surveys on public opinion about issues. Black Voters Matter also provided free food for all those who filled out the survey and a live DJ for all those who attended the event.

Local organizations also set up tents at the event in order to raise awareness about their own causes. Groups such as Rowan Helping Ministries, the HOPE Program, and Communities in Schools of Rowan County all attended the event.

These local organizations took the opportunity to spread their own messages at the event. Stephanie Kruissenga from the HOPE Program shared information about how to deal with overdoses and mental health distress. Under the same canopy, Kelsi Preston with the Rowan County Health Department provided information about the effects the COVID pandemic had on youth mental health.

Workers from the Communities in Schools of Rowan County raised awareness about student needs and the issues Knox Middle School students will face in their future move to Southeast.

“We’re here in partnership with Black Voters Matter because we believe in their vision and we wanted to come out here and support them. We think what they’re doing is important and we wanted to come out and help spread their message,” said Malcolm Johnson, a volunteer with the NAACP Gate City Youth Council from Greensboro.