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DREF Survey on Black Women and the 2016 Vote

The Sister Scholars Advisory Council, under the Center for African American Women conducted a research project on civic engagement and the Black woman’s vote.

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The survey was conducted among a national pool of women and men to understand their level of engagement in the election process and their willingness to participate in #hashtag activism. Respondents reflect a general population augmented with an oversample of African Americans so that the data could be analyzed by race and gender, yielding a margin of error of +/-5%.   

The research project was conducted by DREF’s Center for Research on African American Women led by its Sister Scholars Advisory Council.  The DREF research project presents three important findings: 1) the potential for impactful messaging for civic engagement utilizing hashtag campaigns, 2) a high percentage of apathetic low income voters believe their vote really does not matter, and 3) there is a low percentage of African American women who donate to political campaigns.  The results of the survey will be shared with DREF constituents and collaborative women’s organizations that are also promoting civic engagement through voter education including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Black Women’s Agenda, the National Council of Negro Women, NAACP, and the Black Women’s Roundtable, Higher Heights (an organization of Black Women in Politics), the New York Women’s Foundation, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and other organizations. 

DREF Board of Directors President Carolyn E. Lewis of New Orleans stated, “We need to educate all persons on the issues impacted by the election and encourage them to raise their voice at the ballot box for every local, state, and national election because their vote does matter,” said Lewis.  She added, “The priority is to ensure that our community outreach efforts are effective in getting voters to the polls on November 8th.”

The research on Black women and the vote is the first of several surveys to be conducted by DREF in the coming year. Other topics include the impact of guns in the African American community. Another survey will focus on Black women entrepreneurs.

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