“Voter registration will take place every Sunday in our churches,” said Cheryl Davenport Dozier, who helps coordinate civic engagement efforts for the A.M.E. Church in Georgia. “And in the rural communities that were still reeling since Covid, we continue to have outreach.”
She added, “Sometimes it’s up to 100 people that are coming through, and we’ll have voter registration forms there so that we’re reaching the people.” Though some of those who show up are homeless, she said, “they still have the right to vote.”
Bishop Brown said the listening sessions would be particularly important to help church leaders understand why some Black voters in the state are feeling apathetic.
“It’s one thing to read about the apathy and disgruntlement about the Biden administration or whoever,” he said. “I think we need to have listening sessions where we can dialogue with people on the ground about what’s going on, what the dissatisfactions are, what the disappointments are, and address as much as possible with facts and resolve.”
Indeed, leaders in both churches believe there is still time to re-energize one of the most influential voting groups in Georgia.
“Regardless of what anyone says, Black people do believe in the institutions that are in place to protect our rights,” said the Rev. Willie J. Barber II, who also works on civic engagement efforts for the A.M.E. Church in Georgia and has the same name as Mr. Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign. “One of the concerns is that they feel that that could easily go away. And how are we going to stop that from happening? How am I going to keep democracy alive so that we can continue to live?”