Fifty years ago, the United States embarked on a path of mass incarceration that has led to a staggering increase in the prison population and the number of people disenfranchised from voting due to a felony conviction. More than 4.6 million people were disenfranchised from voting in 2022 despite 25 states and Washington, DC expanding voting rights to persons with felony convictions since 1997. During the first quarter of 2023, major voting rights expansions were gained Minnesota and New Mexico. How can advocacy organizers, researchers, and others build on recent efforts to end felony disenfranchisement?
Join us to learn about strategies to advance voting in prison/rights restoration campaigns.
From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET on August 25th and 26th, we will offer participants an opportunity to hear from experts on movement developments to expand the vote.
Civic Power will feature panel discussions on a range of topics, including:
Chicago Mayor Opens Civic Power – Mayor Brandon Johnson is set to welcome us to Chi-Town during the opening session! The Mayor began his career teaching in Cabrini-Green and later became an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union.
Keynote: Desmond Meade, National Rights Restoration Activist – Desmond’s leadership at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition led to the largest voting rights expansion in the nation, the passage of the Amendment 4 ballot measure, and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his organization.
Plenary: Movement Rights to Guarantee Voting Rights – Panelists will discuss movement developments to guarantee voting rights for all regardless of incarceration status.
Plenary: Lessons from Directly Impacted Campaigns – Directly impacted campaign organizers will discuss lessons learned, including opportunities and challenges, to guarantee voting rights for all by leading from their lived experience.
Plenary: Activism Across Borders – Organizers and directly impacted activists across the Americas will discuss what civic participation means for residents who cannot vote and transnational strategies and tactics to expand the vote.