OWN Launches Voting Initiative Targeting Black Women in Battleground States

Oprah Winfrey Attends 'A Wrinkle In Time' film premiere in London, UK - 13 Mar 2018. (Credit: Shutterstock)

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is launching a bipartisan voting initiative in key battleground states called “OWN Your Vote,” to encourage Black women to go to the polls in November.

The get-out-the-vote campaign was created to fight obstacles to voting that are more pressing now than ever, the network said in a press release. As part of the campaign, OWN has partnered with dozens of national and local grassroots organizations, including the NAACP, Color of Change and the ACLU to motivate voters.

“We find our nation on the precipice, a true tipping point,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “Our audience has a powerful voice. I am proud to be a part of this movement that will create the change we want to see for our country.”

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OWN President Tina Perry added that the current racial and political climates, along with the coronavirus pandemic, have placed more urgency on voting.

“COVID-19 and the racial justice movement have highlighted the need for urgent policy reform to balance disparities that exist regarding affordable health care, systemic racism and racial discrimination,” Perry said. “…it has never been more critical to use OWN’s wide-reaching platform to ensure our core audience has the tools needed to register and cast an informed vote this fall.”

The initiative is set to target “key battleground states with a high concentration of OWN viewers,” such as Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Ohio.

Additionally, to help inform the campaign, OWN conducted a four-month tracking study between November 2019 and February 2020 to identify prevalent issues that affect Black women in the U.S. such as finances, family, crime and safety, employment, and healthcare.

The study found affordable health care are racism are the two most pressing issues for African-American women.