Give Us The Ballot

The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Categories: EDS at Union

With this weekend’s passing of Congressman John Lewis, we lost a true American hero whose life’s work centered on the struggle for racial equality and equal access to the vote. We are proud that his legacy and the Voting Rights Act will be a central focus of EDS at Union’s academic and public programming this year.

Each semester, EDS at Union selects a theme and a book as a guiding focus for a semester-long discussion on justice issues critical for faith communities. This Fall 2020, our focus will be on the Voting Rights Act and the counterrevolution that has since limited the VRA’s scope and force.

The EDS at Union Community Read will be Ari Berman’s award-winning book Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Mr. Berman will be joining the EDS at Union community for a virtual gathering on the evening of October 14, 2020. We will share more information and an RSVP for this public address and audience Q&A in the coming months.

Save the Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 6:00 pm EST
Purchase Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
Watch Ari Berman discuss Give Us the Ballot at the LA Times Festival of Books
Read the article that inspired Berman’s work on the subject of the Voting Rights Act

In Give Us the Ballot, Berman outlines the important role faith leaders played throughout the passage of the Voting Rights Act and in the ongoing struggle to secure the ballot since. Students and faith leaders across the Episcopal Church must understand this history and their role in writing the next chapter of this struggle.

Past community-wide readings have included Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell Moore, and Enrique’s Journey by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario.

Please join us in reading Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America and share your reflections with us this semester.

The Just Vote

Since the end of March, EDS at Union has hosted a series of Facebook Live conversations on what it means to be Church in the time of COVID-19. Interviewees included Michelle Alexander, Eddie Glaude, and Karenna Gore to name just three of the eighteen interviews conducted by the Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of EDS at Union. The full library of video recordings is available here. The recordings are also being made available through EDS at Union’s podcast series here.

As the presidential election approaches, EDS at Union intends to transition toward a focus on “The Just Vote“. This broad theme will encompass a range of topics including the state of voting rights in the U.S. today as well as issues of importance in the upcoming election. The guests for these Facebook Live conversations will be announced in the coming weeks.