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Grassroots Organizers Celebrate Ruling in Allen v. Milligan Redistricting Case

WASHINGTON – Grassroots organizers across the South today celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Allen v. Milligan, declaring that Alabama diluted the power of Black voters. Organizers feared the case would further compromise the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by undermining Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative issued the following statement:

“We are clear that this decision is partly the result of the tremendous work of grassroots organizers across the country,” said Phyllis Hill, founder of the BSWC and national organizing director for Faith in Action. “It is an indication that we can win if we persist and refuse to give up.”

“While a step in the right direction, we know that the fight to preserve democracy is ongoing,” said the Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida and a BSWC member.

“We will continue to organize, state by state, to ensure all communities have equal and fair maps; and to ensure we clear barriers to the ballot box for all,” said Nsombi Lambright, executive director of One Voice in Mississippi.

The ruling comes 10 years after the Shelby County v. Holder decision which gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down Sections 4 and 5 of the landmark measure.

“We greet this ruling understanding all that was on the line,” said Tameka Greer, executive director of Memphis Artists for Change and a BSWC member. “Since Shelby v. Holder, our communities have endured an onslaught of bills that have made it harder to vote. We have resisted in part due to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. We are relieved but not resigned to rest on our laurels. We will continue to organize to ensure that all communities can vote and elect candidates of choice.”

“We are no doubt pleased in the ruling and encouraged to continue the work our ancestors began long ago,” said Ashley K. Shelton, president and founder of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice.

“We remain dedicated to the work before us and convinced in the prospect for change, not because of one court’s decision but because the arc of the universe bends towards justice,” said Kendra Cotton, executive director of the New Georgia Project and a BSWC member


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