Activists are using the buzz around Marvel's hit film, Black Panther, to register Black voters.
The Electoral Justice Project, a project from the Movement for Black Lives, has launched #WakandaTheVote. Spearheaded by Jessica Byrd, Rukia Lumumba, and Kayla Reed, the initiative aims to get Black voters around the country prepared for midterm elections.
Speaking with Blavity, Reed and Byrd said, "The Movement for Black Lives is an ecosystem of black leaders and organizations fighting every single day for the healthy and happy lives of Black folks. We are effective because we meet our communities where they are, whether that's in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater."
They added, "We wanted to meet our people in Wakanda. We know that for some it's a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it! This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice. We will be registering people to vote at movie theaters across the country so that we can #wakandathevote at the ballot box."
The project also goes beyond the movie theater with an added element for fans who can't make it to see the film. Those who'd like to participate can text the word WAKANDA to 91990 and the Electoral Justice Project will help you register to vote. Or, for anyone wishing to hold their own registration event, text PANTHER to 91990.
"Over 1,000 people joined our launch call, and we've been building out an exciting campaign ever since," Byrd and Reed said. "We will be engaged in actions all over the country to educate and motivate black voters as well as launching an intensive campaign manager institute this spring called the Electoral Justice League. We intend to have thousands of conversations with black people as well build a fun and life-affirming political home that isn't transactional, but transformational."