Southfield (CW50) – As the President of the NAACP – Detroit Branch and the Pastor of Fellowship Chapel, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony has been at the forefront of voting movements for decades. In 1997, under his leadership, the NAACP started the “Take Your Soles to the Polls” registration and mobilization program. This was initiated to bring about greater youth involvement in the electoral process and to get more members of the black community to vote.

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The four pillars of the campaign are registration, education, mobilization, and protection. These pillars are held together through volunteers who take part in virtual phone banking, no contact neighborhood canvassing, Knock Your Block Digital Organizing Corps, and poll monitoring. Over the last 20 years, the campaign has gained nationwide attention and has been replicated in many other NAACP units.

Take Your Soles to the Polls volunteers (Photo provided by NAACP Detroit Branch)

Another movement that Reverend Anthony has been a part of is a “Locked Up – Not Locked Out” movement, built around the idea that everyone should be represented. His goal has been to get inmates registered to vote. Over the last six years, the Detroit Branch of the NAACP has registered roughly 1,000 voters in the Wayne County Jail.

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Reverend Anthony told Detroit News, “Inmates are a forgotten class of voters, but they’re still a citizen, still a whole person. Locked up doesn’t mean locked out.”

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of NAACP Detroit Branch

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about the 2020 Election and what the NAACP has been doing to grow the voter turnout in Michigan.

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