As Black Panther-fever hits theaters across the nation this weekend, a group of clever Black women decided to used this moment to work on a great cause: voter registration.
Electoral Justice Project founders Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd, and Rukia Lumumba launched a nationwide effort to get Black Panther moviegoers to register to vote with their #WakandaTheVote initiative.
"This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda," the founders explained to Blavity, calling out the inspiring fictitious East African country Black Panther takes place. The women then correlated the utopia as inspiration for the real world, a world in which progress is believed to begin at the ballot box.
"We know that for some it's a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it,” the founders continued. “This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice.”
The activists plan to mobilize potential voters and recruit viewers to set up their own registration drives at screenings around the country during the first few weeks of Black Panther’s opening.
The project is merely one facet of their larger EJP organization which launched in October as the Movement for Black Lives. The founders explained that the organizations is all about engaging with the community in an organic way.
"We are effective because we meet our communities where they are, whether that's in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater,” Byrd and Reed said to Blavity.