Your Voice, Their Voice, My Voice: Equal Voice, One Vision For America’s Families

By Samantha Elliott Briggs

Nearly 45 million Americans struggle every day to meet their basic needs.

It’s time for fairness for families.

On May 20th, you are invited to join me and thousands of families and communities across the country to vote on a new national family platform. Make sure your voice and other voices from Alabama are heard by participating in this very important online Convention.

Four years ago I had the opportunity to join thousands of like-minded citizens at a similar event for the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s “Equal Voice for America’s Families” campaign.

That day some 3,700 families, who were bused in from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas, gathered locally and connected via simulcast to nearly 15,000 families nationwide. There were also hubs in Los Angeles and Chicago that were set-up similar to ours in Alabama. The mission was to celebrate the voice of families and to ratify the Equal Voice for America’s Families Platform in hopes of gaining better child care, education, more jobs and immigration reform.

Since this experience in 2008, I have remained connected with the work by doing my part as a community volunteer in the education community, as a local educator of future educators and of course, through my board work with Childcare Resources. I keep the passion alive in the hearts and minds of all that I encounter and do my best to help foster and implement change.

I am so excited to learn that The Marguerite Casey Foundation has continued to push the platform and is re-igniting the fire (not that it ever burned out) by hosting the first online Equal Voice national con­ven­tion. The goal is to update the Equal Voice for America’s Fam­i­lies National Fam­ily Plat­form. “Through the use of tech­nol­ogy, tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies will come together to call for an Equal Voice in the deci­sions that affect their com­mu­ni­ties and their families.”

Birmingham was selected as one of only three sites in the country that will be broadcast nationally while thousands watch at house parties, town halls and other gatherings. There is reserved seating for up to 250 people. Advance registration is required, and participants should plan to arrive by 1:00 for lunch and seating before filming begins at 2:00. The event is being held at B&A Warehouse which is directly across from the lovely Railroad Park.

The gathering is organized by the Alabama Organizing Project (AOP)  . Child care will be available for those who request it when they register. For registration and inquiries, contact Kate Shuster, Coordinator of the Alabama Organizing Project at 334-263-2898, or by email (kate.shuster@gmail.com).

If you are unable to attnd in person, you may still participate in the Convention. Log on to http://www.equalvoice2012.org to watch the Convention and vote on the platform by text message.

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