The act of voting is one of the easiest ways to empower our community. By simply making it to the ballot box or mailing your vote in, you can help direct resources to students and other people that would be grateful for the aid. To emphasize the value voting within the HBCU community, a new initiative featuring familiar faces has been established.

Launched by Civic Nation’s When We All Vote, the VOTE LOUD HBCU Squad Challenge was recently announced by the org’s co-chairs former First Lady Michelle Obama and NBA star Chris Paul. In anticipation of the 2022 midterm elections, the challenge was created to empower HBCU students to spearhead voter registration efforts on their HBCU campuses and within their communities. As part of the efforts, voter education and mobilization will also be part of the efforts.  Because it takes a village, in addition to Mrs. Obama and Paul taking part in the Squad Challenge, supporting partners like HBCU Buzz, as well as BET, Baller Alert, Watch the Yard, and Xceleader’s Vote HBCU program have gotten involved as well.

A key benefit of the Squad Challenge is that participating HBCUs will be receiving grants of up to $3,000, and there is even a special prize incentive. The funds will support voting efforts like voter registration drives, educating voters, training new volunteers and more. Through the partnership with BET, HBCUs with the most creative and impactful Squad Challenge ideas will qualify for prizes like campus events and activations featuring celebrity appearances. 

“As a proud HBCU graduate, I know that our Historically Black Colleges and Universities are the

heartbeat of Black culture, and it’s critical that we make sure voting is a part of that culture,” said Stephanie L. Young, Executive Director of When We All Vote. “For decades, HBCUs have led the way in social change, and I’m excited to work with students, alumni, educators and our partners on HBCU campuses to reach our communities in real and engaging ways that allow our voices to be heard in the midterm elections and beyond. And I’m also thrilled to start this work early to end the cycle of engaging these campuses only in the fall before major elections.” 

To learn more about Civic Nation and the VOTE LOUD HBCU Squad Challenge, head to the website here.