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Social Justice Innovation Initiative Rocks the Vote

College faculty Dr. Julie Franks, Kate Chaffin, and Kim Crane Mallory have continued to build on their 2019 Social Justice Innovation Initiative (SJII) grant to bring UConn’s Campaign School to Tennessee. For 2020, they have been working hard to get the word out about voting and the election through a series of events.

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

Voter Training imageThis September event trained more than 100 social work students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members, from all campuses and programs to register voters as a way of challenging racism and sexism, and to address intersectionality. This work is part of the Voting IS Social Work initiative. Online MSSW Student Laurie Gavilo Lane presented research about voter registration laws and barriers to voting in Tennessee.

Voter Registration Contest

The goal of this event was to get people registered to vote. The 145 attendees were divided into 3 teams: Team Vols, Team Big Orange, and Team Rocky Top, and used VotER as a tool to register voters and competed to try to get the most registered. Team captains (Online MSSW students Miranda Dalton and Margaret McMillan) worked tirelessly to encourage their teams to register voters and help registered voters plan to get to the polls. The outcome was 343 people registered to vote! 

Guest speaker

Social work legend Dr. Mimi Abramovitz of Voting is Social Work spoke to faculty, adjuncts and PhD students about the importance of voter registration and about the way voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement impacts our clients and communities. A professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (CUNY) in New York, Dr. Mimi Abramovitz received the 2013 Humanitarian and Leadership Award for contributions in the field of social work, women’s rights, and human rights, from the Association for International Conferences.