EnCompass is a global organization supporting our clients’ work around the world, but we also look for opportunities to contribute locally. On Wednesday, June 1 at the AFI Silver Theatre, we sponsored an IMPACT Silver Spring free advanced viewing of “Suppressed and Sabotaged 2022: The Fight to Vote,” a documentary by Brave New Films. This documentary raises awareness of the alarming ways that efforts to suppress the vote and overturn election results are threatening democracy in the United States. This screening was followed by a panel discussion on voting rights, equity, and justice issues, highlighting the importance of equitable voter access in the fight to combat racism.
Sponsoring this screening ties into our commitment to supporting inclusive democratic processes and ensuring all people can vote to influence decisions that will affect them and their communities. EnCompass demonstrated this commitment by joining the Time to Vote Coalition in 2020. A former EnCompass staff member, who sits as a board member of Time to Vote, introduced us to this great organization. Time to Vote is a business-led, nonpartisan coalition with close to 2000 members, which aims to increase voter participation in U.S. elections by asking the private sector to provide their employees with the time and tools to exercise their right to vote. For the U.S. general election in 2020, EnCompass encouraged staff in the United States to make election day a day without meetings and offered flexible schedules so everyone had time to vote.
As we enter a significant midterm election season in November, it is important to us that our employees are actively participating in democratic processes and elections in their countries. We hope our actions encourage other global development organizations to uphold voter participation and ensure their employees have the support and access to vote.
FightToVote.org created a flyer that lists ways you can take action as a voter and advocate for voting access. For example, before election day you can make sure you are registered to vote, confirm your district and polling place, and vote early or by mail so you can help out on election day. As an advocate, you can volunteer in at-risk states to help registration efforts, sign up to be a poll worker, or volunteer to be an election observer. There are many opportunities to join the fight to protect and expand voting rights for all before Election Day, on Election Day, and year-round.
For more, check out the trailer and film on the “Suppressed and Sabotaged: the Fight to Vote” website. You can also sign up to host a free screening to create a space for generating discussion, sharing resources, and creating impact. Additionally, follow our work to strengthen the capacities of development organizations and government agencies to foster participatory and inclusive governance processes and systems.
Photo by: Michelle DeFayette, President of EnCompass