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FRRC Announces Voteteenth: It’s Time to Free the Vote!



Flo Rida (Getty)

Flo Rida (Getty)

*Miami, FL – Today, September 19th, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is hosting Voteteenth, a day of action and celebration to advance the modern day struggle for voting rights in America.

Voteteenth will rally artists, influencers, activists and communities to support FRRC’s efforts to protect the vote and defend democracy in the November election. Supporters include producer and civil rights activist Scott Budnick as well musician and activist Flo Rida (Tramar Lacel Dillard).

“Voteteenth is not just a celebration of democracy, it’s a call to action,” said Desmond Meade, Founder of FRRC. “FRRC will not rest until we free the vote for every one of Florida’s 1.4 million returning citizens who want to make their voice heard and their vote counted. We expanded democracy in 2018 and want to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote gets registered, and we want those who would deny returning citizens their voice to know that we’re not going anywhere.”

“In 2018, when Floridians overwhelmingly voted to grant returning citizens the right to vote, I was unbelievably proud of my home state,” said Flo Rida. “But now these voting rights are under attack, with fines and fees keeping many returning citizens from registering. On Voteteenth, we’re standing up to defend democracy, because money shouldn’t stand in the way of anyone’s inalienable right to vote.”

“We cannot have a conversation about voting rights in America without talking about returning citizens and what is going on in Florida today. FRRC is doing the work to defend democracy at a time when it is more important than ever. ” said Scott Budnick, Founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. “Voteteenth and the unwavering commitment of FRRC will ensure the voices of Florida’s returning citizens are heard at the polls this election year.”

With less than 30 days from Florida’s October 5th voter registration deadline and with the U.S. District Courts recently upholding a modern day poll tax, FRRC is committed to paying the fines and fees of Florida’s returning citizens, people with past felony convictions) through their Fines & Fees program, empowering people with past convictions to become eligible voters. To learn how you can get involved, visit the

V oteteenth website.

FRRC is a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (people with felony convictions) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety.

For press inquiries, please contact Taylor Hopkins ([email protected] or 407-675-6412) or Michael Galfetti ([email protected] or 7 57-759-2576).


1 Comment

1 Comment

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HBCU Good Trouble Takeover Encourages HBCU Students to Stroll to the Polls Nov. 3



Good Trouble Event Graphic1a - female

Good Trouble Event Graphic

*Entertainers, athletes and influencers are uniting for “HBCU Good Trouble Takeover…Walk. Run. Stroll to the Polls,” a virtual pre-party on Election-Day-Eve, Monday, November 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET on a variety of social platforms. The livestream is sponsored by Verizon Media and Citi, with a grant by Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and includes musical performances by 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and more.

HBCU Heroes, founded by NBA veteran George Lynch, marketing entrepreneur Tracey Pennywell, and media personality/branding strategist Kwame Jackson, is producing the extravaganza. The call-to-action campaign is targeted to engage the 228,000 plus HBCU students nationwide at over 100 HBCUs with a lineup of musical performances, celebrity interviews, a step show contest, band performances from renowned homecoming halftime shows, and more.

The livestream follows weeklong FREE screenings for all HBCUs of the documentary, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, which chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and global icon, as well as how he lived his life making “good trouble” and fighting for equality in America.

Part after-party for the screenings and pre-party for the November 3rd stroll to the polls, the HBCU community and general public are invited to the virtual livestream on Monday, November 2 as celebrities galvanize HBCU students to vote on Election Day. Livestream platforms include REVOLT, Yahoo Entertainment, HBCU Gameday, HBCUgo TV, HBCU Heroes social media platforms (Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube), and more.

Good Trouble Event Graphic1 - female

Celebrities, athletes, and advocates lending their voices to the HBCU Good Trouble Takeover include NBA player Justin Jackson (Dallas Mavericks) who is doing his part with an interview by HBCU students LIVE discussing voting from an athlete’s perspective. Others include cameos by Chris Paul, DL Hughley, Rob Covington (Houston Rockets), Kyle O’Quinn (Philadelphia 76ers), Shannon Sharpe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Renee Montgomery (WNBA), Mike Vick, Kym Whitley, Bill Bellamy, Lloyd Pierce (Coach/ATL Hawks), Akbar Gbajabiamila (host/American Ninja Warrior), Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears), Shaun Robinson (host/ 90 Day Fiance’), Jasmine Burke (Saints and Sinners), Chris Broussard, Mayor Stephen Reed (Montgomery, AL), Jahliel Thurman (CEO of Yard Talk 101), Jaquie Williams (CIAA Commissioner), Erika Alexander, actress/activist and producer of the film John Lewis: Good Trouble, VoteRiders, and Black Voters Matter.

“I’ve been making trouble all my life and now I’m doing it for a good cause,” said D.L. Hughley, comic, radio show host, and NY Times best-selling author. “Working with this group of celebrities, athletes, and organizations to amplify HBCU voter participation is an honor.”

dl hughley - straw hat

DL Hughley

HBCU students will also be featured throughout the entire livestream via Q & As on “Good Trouble,” panels, performances, first-hand voting stories, and more.

The film screenings and post-discussion livestream are geared to increase voter participation among HBCU students. “HBCU students experienced the largest drop in voter turnout for the 2016 election, so we’re honored to make good trouble and celebrate John Lewis as we engage this audience to underscore how important it is for them to go to the polls,” says Tracey Pennywell, Co-founder of HBCU Heroes.

“Citi’s mission and purpose have long been rooted in enabling growth and progress. As communities come together to solve issues around equity and civil rights, we hope this film inspires future leaders to stand for change, take action and create meaningful impact,” says Mary Ann Villanueva, Director of Brand Culture and Engagement at Citi.

In an effort to prevent a repeat of 2016’s drop in student voter turnout, HBCU Heroes jumped into action rallying the support of celebrities, HBCU alumni, leaders and community groups to help connect with and educate students on the importance of voting while encouraging them to go vote on Election Day.

Melinda Arons, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Participant, which launched the Good Trouble campaign said, “We’re proud of our ongoing partnership with HBCU Heroes to lift up Congressman John Lewis’ legacy of making good trouble and supporting HBCU students’ voting rights. With only days left to vote in this election, this is an incredible opportunity to make sure everyone has access to the ballot box.”

The “HBCU Good Trouble Takeover” campaign is in partnership with Magnolia Pictures, Participant, and Color Farm Media, and is led by HBCU Heroes. Amplification support includes organization partners When We All Vote, Yard Talk 101, HBCU Pride Nation, Rock the Vote, and local community groups.

“With college students and Black Americans so dramatically and disportionately impacted by these voter ID laws, VoteRiders is honored to double down on this incredible partnership and ensure that every single HBCU student is fully prepared to make their voice heard by November 3,” said Shannon Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of VoteRiders. “We’re so excited to get into some more ‘good trouble’ together, and truly honor the legacy of Congressman Lewis exactly how he asked us to — with action.”

“For 30 years, Rock the Vote has worked to build the political power of young people. We are thrilled to partner with HBCU Heroes and support their work to turn out the HBCU vote in 2020,” said Carolyn DeWitt, President and Executive Director of Rock the Vote. “HBCU students have incredible power to determine the direction of our country and our communities. And, we must fight fiercely to protect that power and the right to vote, while empowering students with information and resources to make their voices heard in our democracy.”

The star-studded HBCU Good Trouble Takeover…Walk. Run. Stroll to the Polls live-stream can be viewed on a variety of digital platforms, Monday, November 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET via:

Facebook Live:

For more information, contact Tracey Pennywell at [email protected].

About HBCU Heroes:
HBCU Heroes was founded by NBA veteran George Lynch and entrepreneur Tracey Pennywell. With corporate branding strategy deployed by Kwame Jackson, the three have poised this nonprofit as one of the leaders in the HBCU space. HBCU Heroes sits at the nexus of culture, community & commerce with partnerships designed to create maximum impact at the highest level to uplift the HBCU community. Their proven track record with fundraisers & streamathons, and digital funding drives have uniquely positioned them as a premiere one-stop shop, providing content and social impact initiatives that resonate directly with the HBCU universe. National coverage includes Forbes, Sports Illustrated, BET, Undefeated, Black Enterprise, ESPN, Black News Channel and more. Visit for more information and follow @HBCUHeroes on social media for updates.






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Howard Hewett Encourages Fans to Vote with His ‘Fresh Air Cardio Conversation’ / WATCH



Howard Hewett - screenshot - Facebook

*Singer Howard Hewett has found a healthy and entertaining way to keep busy during the Coronavirus shutdown. First, he takes his fans with him on his weekday walks through his Southern California neighborhood, where he shares his thoughts on a variety of subjects.

The subject of his most recent walks, which he calls, Fresh Air Cardio Conversation…and Life, or FACC…and Life for short, has been the upcoming election. In addition to his daily walks and conversations, each Friday evening, he performs what he calls “Shut-In Mini Concerts,” on Facebook.

Howard’s election conversation has included the importance of voting, his pleasure with the amount of people who have already voted, the Presidential debates, being overcome with emotion by former President Obama’s speech in PA in support of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates Biden and Harris, Ice Cube’s “association” with President Trump, a fan from England’s concern with how vocal Howard is about the subjects near and dear to him, and eliminating the Electoral College, among lots of other topics. He has also discussed issues important to Americans during this election: addressing the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Biden’s proposed tax increase on Americans earning more than $400,000 per year. He has also discussed the handling of the three most recent Supreme Court Justice appointments, saying, “They only cared about manipulating the Supreme Court to get what they have now,” referring to more conservative justices than liberal ones on the Supreme Court. He has discussed the importance of wearing a facemask and his thoughts about people who do not wear a mask saying they “do not care about other people.” While dropping knowledge and sharing the beautiful Southern California scenery, Howard encourages people to not take his word for it, but research things for themselves, saying, “Don’t just take me at voice face value. Research the stuff that I talk about. Research it for yourself.” He signs off on each walk saying, “Don’t stop kicking. You don’t drown because the water is too deep; you drown because you stop kicking.”

Howard’s Facebook mini concerts, which occur every Friday at 6:00 pm Pacific Time, are very entertaining, well received and a welcome distraction from what is going on around us these days. Fans have been treated to all of Howard’s hits, including, “I’m for Real,” “Show Me,” I Commit to Love,” “Once Twice, Three Times” and my favorite, “Say Amen.” He also performs lesser known songs, including “Enough,” the last song he did with the late George Duke, as well as songs he made as a member of Shalamar. He typically does not perform the same playlist two weeks in a row; however, sometimes the 600+ viewers get lucky and are treated to a repeat performance of a song. I have mentioned the shut-in mini concerts to several people, and they had no clue they were taking place. I think Howard’s weekly concerts have been a well-kept secret, but why should only 600 or so people have all the fun? It’s just not fair. Come and join us.

‘Like’ Howard Hewitt’s Facebook page and you will be notified when he begins his daily walks and weekly mini concerts. You can also view previous walks and mini concerts on his Facebook page. Check it out, at the best price…FREE!

Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer. Contact her via [email protected]

marilyn smith

Marilyn Smith


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‘I’m Not an Uncle Tom’: Black City Councilman & Lifelong Democrat Explains Why He’s Backing Trump (Watch)





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