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Unmasked: Voting While Black

Free virtual program
  • About This Program

    We kickoff of our voting campaign with an informational discussion on the process and importance of voting for the Black community.

    The turn of a new decade has ushered in a collective experience of issues that until recently just simmered below the surface. Coupled with the ever-changing conditions of a global pandemic, blatant injustices specifically affecting Black people have left many with an unquenchable thirst for change. This need for a shift is perfectly aligned with a fast-approaching election season.

    For this episode of Unmasked, we invite experts and activists to give a rich historical context to voting in the Black community. We then focus on the necessary processes and procedures that will guarantee an informed, timely vote. We share details of voting that are not as commonplace as generally assumed, such as the process of delivering an absentee ballot in North Carolina and helpful tools for an optimal voting experience. We also dive into the implications of COVID-19 on our voting options, addressing the USPS funding crisis, the new policies surrounding in-person voting, and more. Following this conversation viewers will feel empowered with an overall clearer understanding of their voting rights and responsibilities.

    The evening's moderator Speaker & Talk Show Host, Ohavia Phillips will be joined by experts Michael Dickerson, Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director and Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Assistant Professor of History at Winthrop University, who will share enlightening information that will provide newfound clarity to a crucially important topic.


    Share your views with us prior to the discussion by participating in an anonymous survey. Click/tap here to take the survey.

  • How To Participate

    Viewing this program is free and open to the public. To chat during the program and contribute your perspective, you will need a YouTube account with a Gmail email address prior to the program. If you do not have a YouTube account, click here for a step-by-step tutorial on creating a YouTube account.

    Gantt Center's YouTube channel

  • About The Panelists & Moderator

    Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight teaches courses at Winthrop University in African-American History and United States History. Her research interests include African-American History, United States History, and Women's and Gender History, with a particular focus on using oral history to examine social movements forged by African-American women. Dixon-McKnight is currently working on a project that focuses on the 1969 Charleston hospital workers campaign and the hundreds of African-American working-class women at the center of the movement.

    Michael Dickerson is currently the Director of Elections for Mecklenburg County and has held this position since 1998. Prior to coming to Charlotte, Mr. Dickerson was with the Federal Election Commission as a Deputy Assistant Staff Director. Mr. Dickerson spent 14 years at the Federal Election Commission. Currently he is a member of the International Association of Government Officials, The Election Center, NC Directors of Elections Association, and a member of the United States Election Assistance Commission Standards Board.

    Ohavia Phillips from Charlotte, NC, by way of Brooklyn, NY, Ohavia ("Oh") Phillips, is one of a kind! Ohavia is actively involved in all things media, as a digital content creator, speaker and emcee around the city of Charlotte. She's also a thriving talk show host of her self-created show, The Oh Show. Ohavia says she loves people and connecting with #OHMAZING and impactful individuals to impact communities. When you see her you'll be sure to get big energy, a hug and a milly rock!

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