Voting in Baltimore

UMBC expert emphasizes the importance of minority voices in 2016 election

Black Girls Vote, a nonprofit organization designed to boost voter turnout in Baltimore, was recently featured in the Baltimore Sun. In the article, Kate Drabinski, a lecturer of gender and women’s studies and director of the Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) program, provided perspective on the organization’s potential far reaching impact heading into the 2016 election season.

The group was founded by a Baltimore resident with the goal of registering people to vote, especially young African-American women, and to use the nonprofit to aid public schools, the job market and access to health care. The organization is made up of 15 core members, and several pop-up events are being planned to help residents register throughout the year.

In the article, Drabinski described how involvement from minority groups in shaping public policy can help change lives.

“There are incredible efforts made to get wealthy white people to vote — whole systems to remind them how important their vote is,” Drabinski said. “You need the same kind of attention to other groups.

“Without participation, the wrong decisions will be made. It’s an old tenet: ‘Nothing about us without us.'”

Drabinski’s research interests include transgender studies, critical pedagogy, public history, and theories of activism. Each year in the spring, Drabinski leads the Elect Her! program, which is a training program that encourages college women to run for student government on their college or university campuses. Read more about Drabinski’s work and research. Read the full article “Black Girls Vote looks to get young women to the polls” in the Baltimore Sun. 

Image: Photo by Jay Baker, CC by 2.0.