What’s at Stake

Y’all Need To Vote. Black Women Can’t Do It Alone.

This important voting bloc is ready to drive seismic change

Donna M. Owens
Published in
7 min readSep 24, 2020
Black woman wearing a face mask that says “Show up for Black women.”
Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis/Getty Images

ZORA has delved into what’s at stake in this election cycle with an important series about women of color and the vote. We sought the insight of political activists, advocacy groups, lawmakers, and community stakeholders. Read on for insight into a voting bloc that may impact not just the next election, but America’s future course. Keep an eye on What’s at Stake all week long.

Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson saw her hometown, Baltimore, erupt in unrest following the police-involved death of Freddie Gray back in 2015. That same year, Robinson launched Black Girls Vote, which mobilizes Black women to use their collective voting power.

As November’s general election fast approaches, the team at Black Girls Vote is busy registering voters. The nonprofit has also launched Party at the Mailbox, which sends custom boxes to voters in Baltimore, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Each box contains voter information, a window sign, a poster, a T-shirt, and more.

“For many people, their mailbox is now their ballot box,” says Robinson. “Even if they don’t vote by mail, we want to make sure Black women vote in this election and feel empowered.”

Ahead of November’s general election, Black women are one of the most powerful voting blocs in the country. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 64% of eligible Black women voters and 74% of college-educated Black women cast ballots in 2016.

“Black women have long been the strength of the [Democratic] party, and even during this time of uncertainty, we cannot allow that energy to go to waste.”

“The road to 2020 is powered by Black women,” says Glynda Carr, president and CEO of Higher Heights for America, a national organization that works to elect and elevate Black women. “Sixteen million of us are eligible to vote, and we turn out at higher rates than most other groups. For decades now, we’ve been the determining factor in many races.”



Donna M. Owens
Writer for

Award-winning digital, print and broadcast journalist. https://www.linkedin.com/in/donna-m-owens-15627658