Election Day in the United States is November 8th — 13 days away! You may be seeing a lot in the news about how elections have already been decided, how polls are saying things are going to go this way or that. But elections aren’t won or lost based on polls or a “margin of error” — they’re determined based on voting and the “margin of effort.”
So, since Election Day is 13 days away, that really means there are 13 opportunities left to canvass, phone bank, and our favorite — put in the effort to make creative actions and get out the vote!
Just last month, Unstoppable Voters was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, working with folks to teach artistic activism and how to use the powers of art and culture to connect with Wisconsin voters, in this crucial election cycle and beyond. While there, we had the awesome opportunity to connect in-person with one of our Unstoppable Voters Fellows, Alannah Ray, and be part of prototyping her voting-themed mystery bags. It was exciting to see how even just five minutes of testing out a creative action can help strengthen it and ensure its success.
Please enjoy learning more about Alannah and her work, along with our other recent Unstoppable Voters workshops at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, and Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, to see just how we’re contributing to the margin of effort and how you can too!
Unstoppable Voters Program Assistant
Unstoppable Voters Fellow 2022 Spotlight: ALANNAH RAY
Alannah Ray is the Panthers Vote Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to civic engagement work, she is currently pursuing an M.S. in Anthropology and just finished a graduate certificate in Museum Studies this spring at UWM. Her bachelor’s degree is in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Utilizing her multidisciplinary background, she is interested in blending the physical and digital worlds to facilitate education, accessibility, and exploration in all the work she does. As a student herself, Alannah hopes to help break down barriers to help her peers engage in the civic process. Panthers Vote is the hub for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s student voting initiatives (playing off the school mascot, Pounce the Panther).
Through Unstoppable Voters, Alannah is working with Panthers Vote to create mystery bags that are taking the mystery out of voting in Wisconsin. These mystery bags serve as voter education toolkits and are being distributed to students across University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campuses, to help mobilize 5,000+ students to follow through with voting and become long-term participants in civic engagement. Prototypes of the mystery bags have been rolling out at campus events, club meetings, and offices, and through a partnership with Athletics, several hundred bags will be handed out during upcoming sports and events.
Building Artistic Activists Across Wisconsin and Ohio
Participants in Art & Creative Democracy: Unstoppable Voters develop artistic actions to mobilize their Wisconsin communities
In addition to leading an Unstoppable Voters workshop in Milwaukee, last month we traveled about an hour north to St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, to work with students in Associate Professor Brandon Bauer’s Art & Creative Democracy course, staff from the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding, and community members of the Coalition of Voting Organizations (COVO) and other local social justice groups.
We led workshops on the fundamentals of artistic activism and how to apply them to pro-voter work, and we inspired intergenerational collaboration to develop creative campaigns in support of Wisconsin voters. Together, participants dreamed up fun voting-related actions, ranging from embracing the local love of the Green Bay Packers to creating a fleet of female Abraham Lincolns to drive students to the polls.
Next stop, Columbus, Ohio! Soon after our visit to Wisconsin, Unstoppable Voters went to Ohio State University (OSU) to partner with their Council of Graduate Student Arts & Culture Committee. Focusing on how to get OSU students and members of the community to vote, the participants imagined and prototyped very wild ideas, like a Matrix-themed party found by following a white rabbit and a family-friend corn maze—both with voting twists! Check out this video of our time there.
Amazing Voting Actions Happening All Over the Country
Liso Jo Epstein and teens in Philly make interactive puppets to amp up the joy of voting. Photo by Ellen Somekawa, Executive Director FACTS Charter School.
Friday is VOTE EARLY DAY! Several of our Unstoppable Voters projects are planning big actions to celebrate getting out to vote before November 8. Over 220 million people can cast their ballot early this fall, and our partner organizations are helping them do that.
Voting early ensures that last-minute issues, long lines at the polls, and unclear election laws can’t deter you and your loved ones from voting. So check out one of these actions and/or get to your ballot box today!
If you’re in Philly, head to City Hall on Friday, where hundreds of teens from all over the city will be parading to the poll and casting their ballots. Our all-star partner, Lisa Jo Epstein of Just Act has been a huge inspiration for this event, which is mobilizing so many new voters and is sure to be a scene-stealer.
And that’s just a taste of all the Vote Early action that will be happening—and all the pro-voting actions that have been happening all month. Last week, two of our Unstoppable Voters projects had big in-person events: in Philly, Unstoppable Voters Fellow Ceshia Elmore emceed a poetic party protest, and in Austin, Unstoppable Voters Fellow Andrew Dinwiddie worked with Becky Bullard of Democrasexy to help drive the demons out of the Texas Capitol. We’ll share more in our next newsletters about them and all the voting fun.
The application deadline to Join our Board has been extended
We have extended the deadline to apply to join our Board of Directors to October 31st, 11:59 pm.
We’re taking applications from people interested in joining our Board of Directors. The C4AA Board of Directors comprises leaders who are dedicated to the organization’s mission.
Serving on the C4AA Board of Directors is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about strengthening leadership and governance in the nonprofit sector. We’re a growing organization and expanding our resources, staffing and programming, which means our Board members get to be a part of some exciting development.