For Immediate Release: March 18, 2022
New Orleans, LA– On Monday, March 21, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. (CST), Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) will host a Press Conference Webinar releasing the 2021 Annual Report: Power Building Activate. The conference will open with comments from PCEJ founder and CEO, Ashley Shelton. PCEJ partners will discuss highlights from the year-in-review. The panel will include Jared Evans (NAACP LDF), Norris Henderson (VOTE), Susana Raquel Berger (Made to Save), and Roishetta Ozane (The Vessel Project).
In 2021, PCEJ made over 3.6 million contacts to people around the state through phone calls, text messages, door-to-door canvassing, and social media content. This outreach supported a full slate of community outreach programs.
PCEJ, along with executive partners, engaged in the three legislative sessions advocating for democracy, expanding legislation and policies centered in equity and supporting communities of color. PCEJ educated the community on multiple democracy expanding bills including Act 22 doubling the amount of time people can spend in the voting booth and Act 365 to extend early voting during a presidential election.
Over the past year, PCEJ ran five Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns encouraging communities to get engaged in the civic process. PCEJ focused on hosting voter registration drives, drawing people to vote in every election, hosting candidate forums, and running an election protection program to ensure everyone could cast their vote.
“As a Black woman led organization, we know civic engagement and community building is not either/or but both/and,” says CEO Ashley Shelton. “At Power Coalition, we work daily to change systems. At the same time we’re feeding families, ensuring people are vaccinated, and working to get people access to the ballot box.”
In 2021, Louisiana continued to face challenges with deepening inequities, devastating storms, and many people in worsening economic conditions than before the pandemic. The core mission of PCEJ is ensuring Black and Brown people in Louisiana fully engage in democracy and stand in their power. This is not possible when basic needs are not met.
In March 2021, PCEJ joined the Bring Back Louisiana and the Made to Save Campaign working to answer questions around hesitancy and provide community vaccine clinics in communities of color with lower vaccination rates. These efforts moved Louisiana toward becoming the first state to have a higher rate of vaccination in Black populations than White populations. PCEJ also responded quickly to communities following Hurricane Ida providing over $200,000 in direct aid to communities across Southeast Louisiana.
In 2021, the organization trained community members in redistricting principles to ensure communities could be a part of the process. PCEJ also worked to train organizers to help expand reach and impact throughout Louisiana in Environmental Justice, Health and Safety, and Women-Led activism.
In 2022, PCEJ is preparing for another full year of work advocating in the legislature, connecting with communities to build power, and turning out voters in the 2022 midterm elections.
Learn more about the event here: https://powercoalition.org/events/2021-annual-report-webinar/
Read the full report at: https://powercoalition.org/Downloads/2021_Annual_Report_Download.pdf
###Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) is dedicated to supporting and coordinating civic and voter engagement across Louisiana. We are guided by values of justice and racial equity and work with our partners to build an integrated civic engagement strategy that amplifies the voices of those who have historically been ignored, and organize them into a unified movement. PCEJ focuses on building power in traditionally marginalized communities, particularly Black and Brown communities, by equipping people with the knowledge and information they need to find their voice and learn where and when to use it.
Ashley Shelton, CEO of Power Coalition