“COURAGE FOR THE PEOPLE” EVENT INSPIRES INTERGENERATIONAL VOTERS TO ORGANIZE WITH THE BALLOT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2020

Fundraiser, featuring Dr. Angela Davis, raises over $80,000 to help move California, and the nation, towards an equitable and representative democracy

LOS ANGELES -- On Thursday, August 13, 2020, Courage California hosted its first virtual fundraiser event, “Courage For the People”, which featured an intergenerational conversation between Dr. Angela Davis and Black Women for Wellness Action Project’s Nourbese Flint.  

Days after 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate, Dr. Davis, a well-known American political activist, philosopher, professor, and author, spoke candidly on Black liberation and the 2020 election. 

“The Republican Party provides no hope, especially given its current state. But the Democratic Party also has connections with corporations, and I don't see much fundamental change coming from the Democratic Party [either],” said Dr. Angela Davis. “I think change comes from masses of people and movement -- all of the advances in democracy, in this country, have come from movements. But this does not mean that we shouldn't participate in the electrical processes, it does not mean that we shouldn't vote.”

Dr. Davis shared ideally we would have a major party option that is both anti-racist and anti-capitalist -- but acknowledged this is not our reality, and must instead vote to move our country forward. 

“How we decide how we're going to use our electoral power has to do with possibilities for the future,” she said. Stating that once voters get “this current occupant out of the White House,” the next step is to put pressure on whoever is elected, to ensure they move our country forward in a more equitable and just direction -- referring to both Biden and Harris. 

“Courage For the People” exceeded its fundraising goal, which will enable Courage California to produce and digitally distribute its statewide, down ballot, voter guide -- the first of its kind available in the state -- for the 2020 General Election. The Courage Voter Guide provides Californians with well-researched and community-informed guidance on how to vote their values within a sea of disingenuous campaign mailers and corporate funded political spending. 

“The outpouring of support and excitement we’ve received from event participants, donors, and community members has been incredibly energizing and empowering,” said Irene Kao, Courage California’s Executive Director. “The voter guide is a resource that is needed and wanted, especially now when voters are discouraged by the levels of violence and suppression directed at our communities when we exercise our rights and demand change. Californians are ready and eager to close the gap between the government we have and the government we want, and deserve, for the state and nation.” 

Over 200 people attended the exclusive “Courage For the People” virtual event, which also featured Emmy-, Tony-, and Grammy-winning Billy Porter; and Oakland Youth Poet Laureate 2019, Samuel Getachew. The program lasted two hours, and opened with a Native land acknowledgment by California Native Vote Project Youth Organizer Cheyenne Phoenix, and brought in youth activists to participate in the discussion, in-real-time, and ask Dr. Davis questions. The four youth -- Samuel Getachew, Cheyenne Phoenix, Young Justice Advocates of the Desert co-founder Jazzy Morgan, and Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard co-founder Thandiwe Abdullah --  asked Dr. Davis questions focused on fighting systemic racism at the ballot box and navigating systemic barriers to create change. 

During the event Courage California made a special announcement about Courage California Institute, a 501(c)(3), teasing a nonpartisan voter-engagement movement that will officially launch in September. 

“With Courage, and the support of our Courageous donors, we can unite and empower all Californians at the ballot box in November. And together, work towards a state and country that works for and benefits all” said Kao. 

To support Courage California Institute register 100,000 new California voters, visit here

To support Courage California State PAC reach 1 million voters around the state with our voter guide, visit here

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Courage California, a 501(c)(4) works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of 1.4 million members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country. www.couragecalifornia.org  

Courage California Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the educational arm of the Courage California family of organizations. Its mission is to defend and extend economic justice, human rights, and corporate and political accountability through public education, strategic research, and innovative leadership-development training. www.couragecaliforniainstitute.org/