Rev. Jamal Bryant, center, with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson
at a March rally for Trayvon Martin, calling for the arrest of
George ZImmerman. (Twitter)
Written for theGrio.com
It was Rev. Jamal Bryant's mission to register one million new black voters this Easter. He and a collection of other black ministers across the country set out to use one of the Church's highest attended days to bring their congregations into the political process in an effort they call the Empowerment Movement. While all the results aren't in, Bryant calls the Easter-day drive just the beginning. With the case of slain teen Trayvon Martin as a catalyst, he sees a future of increased political empowerment for young black Americans.
"I'm very excited about the momentum that the Empowerment Movement has built, said Bryant. "We're barely over 40 days old and we've registered 110,000 people to vote." While the number is just over a tenth of the organization's original goal, Bryant said he can rest well with the results. "Most civil rights organizations haven't done that in ayear," he added.
Bryant stated in a March press release that there are an estimated 500,000 black churches in the United States and over five million unregistered black voters. The website for the Empowerment Movement states their official goal was registering one million voters on April 8, 2012, "making Guinness World Book history for democracy, by challenging every black church in the United States to register 20 people on that day."
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