When Barack Obama was in the White House, we also had an intelligent, strong, powerful woman committed to bettering the world, First Lady Michelle Obama. Since leaving the White House, she and her husband have been helping lead young people forward in inspiring ways.
Michelle Obama will be hosting the thirteenth Roots Picnic virtually. It will stream on YouTube June 27th according to The Hollywood Reporter:
‘The event will be filled with amazing performances and speakers all while focusing on getting registered and ready to vote. When We All Vote is partnering with the 13th annual Roots Picnic on Saturday, June 27th, hosted by Quest Love, Black Thought and our very own co-chair Michelle Obama.’
Mrs. Obama tweeted about the event:
‘Couldn’t be more excited that @whenweallvote is teaming up to co-host @TheRoots Picnic on June 27! Join us and get registered to vote: weall.vote/rootspicnic’
The Roots Picnic will be in partnership the Obama’s national, nonpartisan nonprofit When We All Vote organization:
‘Executive Producer Shawn Gee (Live Nation Urban), The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq Trotter (Two One Five Entertainment), and Dan Parise (DPS) — will be hosted by Quest, Black Thought and Obama, with sets from The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, SZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, D Nice and Musiq Soulchild (backed by The Roots).’
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, and Elaine Welteroth will all make appearances.
When We All Vote Managing Director of Communications and Culture Stephanie Young released a statement:
‘As we face one of the most challenging years for our nation, we could all use a moment of inspiration and light to help focus on what we can do to take action together — and that action is voting. When We All Vote is on a mission to change the culture around voting and we are committed to closing the age and race gap of those who show up at the ballot box, increasing participation in each and every election. To change the culture means we have to be in the culture, and iconic events like the The Roots Picnic, a celebration of the most influential artists of today, is just that.’
The event’s goal is to “engage and reach 500,000 eligible voters.” When We All Vote volunteers work to text voters throughout the show through Outvote. This web and mobile organizing platform can reach unregistered voters. Fans can also “subscribe to The Roots’ official YouTube Channel and tune in to the broadcast stream here.”
Roots Manager and President of Live Nation Urban Shawn Gee also released a statement:
‘Historically, Questlove & Black Thought have always been very active participants in the voting process, however I felt that it was imperative that this year I open up both The Roots and my Live Nation Urban platforms as vehicles for both voter education and voter registration. Our goal is to aggressively impact change and we’re going to have some fun while doing so. This year, we are incredibly proud to partner with Mrs. Obama’s When We All Vote to ensure our audience has the resources they need to register and vote in November’s election.’
When We All Vote launched in 2018 by co-chairs “Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.” When We All Vote changes the “culture around voting using a data-driven and multifaceted approach to increase participation in elections.’
It begins with elementary students and goes all the way through high school kids. Then, this unique organization wraps around to include adults:
‘Elementary, middle, and high schools have an important role to play in preparing our young people for their most important job: citizen. Students and teachers can get resources including action planning guides, voter registration guidelines, and trainings to help you build and execute a voter registration program at your school.’
Jennifer Miller-Gonzalez said she “felt a calling” to include “all the women in our basketball league:”
‘I felt a calling to get all the women in our basketball league to get involved in voting. The women that participate come from all walks of life. Mothers, daughters, sisters, professionals, entrepreneurs… but all friends. We are representative of this country and I know our voice needs to be heard.’
There is much to be done, and there is a spot for anyone who wants to be involved:
‘Whether it’s helping to register your friends and family to vote or joining our texting team, we need your help. Sign up to volunteer so when you are ready, we can make sure you get our updates on all of our volunteer opportunities throughout the year.’
There are leaders from the group strengthening democracy in communities across the nation:
‘Join a community of leaders working to strengthen our democracy in communities across the country. Become a Voting Squad Captain and build your team to take action together! When We All Vote will provide you with the tools, training, and resources you need to make your voter registration and education efforts a success.’
The group also helps other organizations to take action:
‘Do you help lead a non-profit organization, association, or company? Corporate, non-profit, and community-based organizations play an important role in our work. We’re looking for national and local partners to join our effort to change the culture around voting. If you’re interested in future volunteer opportunities, but aren’t sure how you want to be involved right now, sign up for updates.’
The annual Picnic in Fairmount Park has been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twitter world exploded after Michelle Obama was scheduled to attend the Roots Picnic. So many tweets popped up, but also ugly tweets, too, from racists. They must fear her if they express so much anger. We would not want to make her angry — but out of respect for her unique power and path in this world. Check out these favorite responses:
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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