Image Source: Getty / Rich Polk / Mike Marsland / Jamie McCarthy
Gen Z and millennials are expected to comprise nearly 40 percent of voters in the 2020 presidential election, and the Take Your Power Back Weekend is helping that crucial slice of the electorate get informed before hitting the polls. A virtual event set to take place on Aug. 1 and 2, Take Your Power Back Weekend is bringing actors, elected officials, social-justice activists, athletes, and artists together on one platform to empower young voters and students. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
The live-streamed conference is organized by The Andrew Goodman Foundation, which supports youth leadership development, voting accessibility, and social-justice initiatives across campuses. The nonprofit's executive director, Alexandria Harris, says the event is taking place at the opportune time, and we couldn't agree more. "Now more than ever — as our country fights multiple viruses — young people must use their power to bring about meaningful change in our country," Harris said in a press release, adding that the weekend will "inspire, educate, and equip students with everything they'll need to take their power back, advocate for issues they care about, and make their voices heard in November and beyond."
So, who's participating and how can you watch it all go down? We're glad you asked! POPSUGAR has the exclusive scoop on everything you should know about the Take Your Power Back Weekend and chatted with two celebrity activists who are set to appear on a panel together. Mark your calendars for the weekend of Aug. 1, and learn all the must-know details ahead.
Image Source: Take Your Power Back Weekend
Who Is Involved
Take Your Back Power Weekend has yet to announce its full list of celebrity participants, but below are the stars and organizations who've been involved in the planning process and who will be speaking on panels and in discussions. The Andrew Goodman Foundation will be revealing more stars as the event approaches.
- Amber Riley: singer and actress known for her roles in Glee, The Wiz Live!, and more
- Opal Tometi: human-rights advocate and cofounder of Black Lives Matter
- Kimberly Jones: activist and coauthor of New York Times bestseller I'm Not Dying With You Tonight
- Blair Imani: LGBTQ+ community advocate and author of Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History
- Udonis Haslem: Miami Heat basketball player
- Other partners include organizations like I Am A Voter, Music Unites, Equal Justice Now, and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, all of which will host sessions centered on voting education.
POPSUGAR got to touch base with Kimberly Jones about the upcoming conference, and she shared why she personally connects with the event's impactful title. "Personally, I took my power back when I started using my gift — writing — to have a voice in the world we live in," she said. "I think we can each take our power back by using our gifts and our rights, like voting, to speak out." Jones, who will be talking on a panel about voting in the interests of marginalized people, also divulged her advice for first-time voters. "Educate yourself — on the history of our country, on the issues your community faces, on each candidate. Know who's got your back when you go to the polls," she said.
"Know who's got your back when you go to the polls."
Blair Imani, who's joining Jones's panel, told POPSUGAR she's looking forward to teaching students the importance of voting with the interests of marginalized groups in mind. "I hope that every time people see me speak, they remember that no one group is a monolith," she said. "LGBTQIA+ faith-based people exist. So when we're voting, we have to be voting with an intersectional lens that protects more than any one group but aims to protect us all. We have to hold elected officials and those who are running for office accountable to have more nuanced policy that addresses that."
Imani also echoed Jones's recommendation to get adequately educated before hitting the polls. "Learn your history, and then vote. Learn about other communities, and then vote," she said.
How to Tune In
Where to Learn More
Stay in the know on the event's latest updates by bookmarking takeyourpowerbackweekend.com. You can also learn more about what The Andrew Goodman Foundation is up to, donate to support its mission, and/or join its campus network on the organization's official website.