Less than a month after graduation, the Spring 2019 class for the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy hosted their Voter’s Registration Project at the Alumni House on June 24th. The purpose of the project was to sign as many people up to vote as possible to design a voice of representation for the community.
Jacqueline Hood, Leadership Academy graduate and project lead, announced before the discussion that everyone needs to exercise their right to vote in order to make their voices heard and opinions make a difference. The goal of the meeting was to reduce feelings of distrust the community has expressed regarding the political system.
Thirty individuals from Gateway Community Center stayed behind after their nightly meeting to have a conversation with Director of Community Outreach & Events, Greg Clark, with the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office about why registering to vote is important and what the options are regarding how you can vote in this county. Greg then assisted twelve individuals in registering to vote for the first time and helped others update home addresses which gives them access to their correct candidates and voting precincts.
The Make a Difference! Leadership Academy was originated as an extension of the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! grassroots community education and awareness campaign to improve black infant mortality rates in Jacksonville. The goal of the Leadership Academy is to empower community members to make changes in neighborhood factors that contribute to disparities in health and birth outcomes.