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EVENT: Facing Race to Be Largest, Post-Election Meet-Up of Racial Justice Advocates; National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi to Keynote

For Immediate Release

Sept. 26, 2022

OAKLAND – The national racial equity organization Race Forward today announced their bi-annual Facing Race conference, Nov. 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ. It will be the largest convening of racial justice advocates in the nation and the only such gathering post the Nov. 2022 midterm elections. Thousands of advocates, organizers, educators, funders, creatives, and journalists will attend or participate online with over 500 people registered as of Sept. 20. Accomplished professor, author and National Book Award winner Dr. Ibram X. Kendi will be the conference keynote speaker. Dr. Kendi is a historian and New York Times-bestselling author of “How to Be an Antiracist.” He has written five New York Times bestsellers and is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.

“In this crucial period, we are bringing together racial justice practitioners from all over the country to generate and share solutions for how to move the needle on racial equity in the U.S.,” said Glenn Harris, executive director of Race Forward. “From our keynote speaker to each panelist, this will be an intentional conference designed to strengthen and deepen the racial justice movement. Attendees will leave with their cups filled, their determination sharpened, and their resolved unwavering.”

Facing Race will feature breakouts and special sessions aimed at fueling the work of racial equity. It is a touch point within the racial justice movement to expose advocates, storytellers, creatives, journalists, small business owners and concerned citizens to best practices so they can advance just and racially equitable policies and practices in their respective communities.

“The people who come to Facing Race come from all parts of the nation,” said Leslie Grant Spann, director, Facing Race. “Some live in areas where they feel isolated and like they are doing racial justice work in a vacuum. In this space, they will appreciate that they are part of a national movement that is committed to progress. Our goal is to inspire advocates to stay in the fight.”

Facing Race will educate new and emerging advocates, and persons who want to lead with a racial justice analysis. It will help advocates grow a personal analysis of racial justice while learning about intersectional frames.

The conference will feature two and a half days of collaboration, sound therapy, drumming, music, art, artistic expression, and joy. Organizers will stimulate the senses and offer content beyond presentations and back-to-back workshops. For more information on panelists and breakout sessions, see

Please note that we have limited space for journalists to attend and cover the Facing Race conference. To receive information on the press credentialing process, please email or by Nov. 5.



Founded in 1981, Race Forward, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year, catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.


Black Southern Women’s Collaborative Celebrates National Voter Registration Day

For Immediate Release

Sept. 20, 2022

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today celebrated National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a civic holiday meant to encourage voters to register to vote. The collective, which organizes across the South to improve the material conditions of Black people, pledged to register thousands of voters on NVRD and beyond. They also vowed to address long-standing barriers to the ballot such as felony disenfranchisement, voter purges, and intimidation at the polls. The group released the following statement:

“This National Voter Registration Day comes at a time of increased strife in Florida. Numerous formerly incarcerated persons who regained the right to vote have been viciously targeted for attempting to do just that,” said the Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida. “This year, our organizing and efforts will go to ensuring that all people who are eligible to vote – including returning citizens – are able to do so, free of intimidation and fear.”

Since NVRD’s inception in 2012, nearly 4.7 million people have registered to vote. That is critical, because communities of color tend to be more transient, increasing the need to update their voter registration, confirm polling place locations, etc., prior to Election Day.

“With so much power on the line this year, we’ve committed to taking a full week to get as many people in our state #VoteReady as possible,” said Ashley K. Shelton, founder and president of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice. The group is one of several from the South who will head to Washington, D.C. for an Oct. 4th Supreme Court hearing re Alabama’s redistricting lines.

The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative is a network of Black women organizers and executive directors committed to pooling resources and organizing insights to impact change in the South. The cohort includes Kendra Cotton, chief operating officer of the New Georgia Project; Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida; Ashley Shelton, founder and president of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice; and Tameka Greer, executive director of the Memphis Artists for Change.

“Imagine receiving pamphlet after pamphlet encouraging you to turn out and vote only to show up and be denied the opportunity to do so. You haven’t moved. Your rights haven’t been revoked. Nothing about your voting,” said Tameka Greer, executive director of the Memphis Artists for Change. “Your eligibility has changed. And yet, you’re denied the right to vote outright or offered a provisional ballot because you’ve been erroneously purged from the rolls. That is the plight of far too many voters in Tennessee. And this National Voter Registration Day, our goal is to engage as many voters as possible and help them if they’ve been purged.”

They outlined the following goals and events:

  • Faith in Florida will host a series of events and will register 500 people to vote. They are also working with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to support formerly incarcerated persons whose rights have been restored but who are facing intimidation by the Ron DeSantis administration when they have attempted to register to vote.
  • The New Georgia Project has pledged to register 5,000 people to vote before Monday, Sept. 26. They have partnered with 100 small businesses and schools for the effort.
  • Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is hosting events across Louisiana, are working with high schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to get them registered to vote. The Power Coalition is also working with clergy in Monroe on a Turn Out Sunday Service on the Sunday before the Nov. 8 election.
  • Memphis Artists for Change will canvass and knock on 500 doors in the most impacted areas. They are particularly concerned about the 1 in 5 Tennesseans who are unable to vote.

“This is an opportunity to continue the conversation we began long ago with voters,” said Kendra Cotton, chief operating officer of the New Georgia Project and member of the BSWC. “Today is part and parcel of a broader plan to engage voters, defend democracy, and continue outreach with officials who are aligned with our vision and values.”