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Stop in Selma marks start of coalition’s national tour

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and All Voting Is Local kicked off the “And Still I Vote” tour by participating in Sunday’s march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in recognition of the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

The tour is “a national call to action to overcome discriminatory barriers to voting,” according to a press release.

The national campaign, inspired by poet Maya Angelou’s famous “And Still I Rise” poem, will highlight stories of “resistance and resilience” from disenfranchised communities and spotlight government tactics to block people from the voting booth.

“Our vote is our voice,” said Leadership Conference President and CEO Vanita Gupta. “Yet far too many in this country are actively plotting to silence our voice and block our ability to vote. ‘And Still I Vote’ is a rallying cry of democratic defiance, uniting communities in the common struggle to protect and preserve our voting rights and democracy. They’ll try to block our path to the ballot box. And still we’ll fight. And still we’ll persist. And still we’ll vote.”

The campaign has partnered with a slew of celebrities looking to lend their support to the pro-democracy movement, including actors Alfre Woodard, Michael Ealy and Guillermo Diaz, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen, comedians Cristela Alonzo and Jenny Yang and others.

“As we honor the brave patriots who endured ‘Bloody Sunday’ 55 years ago, we must tear down the barriers to the ballot box that still exist today,” said Leadership Conference Executive Vice President of Campaigns and Programs Ashley Allison. “Unless we act now, millions of Americans will be denied the right to vote in the next election.”

The next stops on the tour will be in Arizona and Wisconsin, with future dates and locations to be announced later. For more information on the campaign, visit AndStillIVote.org.