Noa Cadet- Staff Writer
2020 has proven to be quite a year thus far! Not only has COVID-19 completely altered the way the country operates, but it is also the election year for the President of the United States. An election that is quickly shaping up to be one of the most influential ones in American history. In honor of such an important event, as well as to build active participation for the voting season in the Hampton Roads area, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., held their Get Owt and Vote Summit on Friday, September 25, via Instagram Live. Hosted by Hampton University Alumnus, Georquel Goodwin, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter worked tirelessly throughout the event to spread awareness on the importance of voting in the upcoming election, with emphasis on the black vote.
Dozens of Hampton students gathered on the Instagram live to join the discussion of voter registration, led by Omega Psi Phi. Among that number was the event’s special guest speaker, Nupol Kiazolu, a Hampton University Political Science Major, Black Rights Activist and founder of the National Vote2000 campaign. In her discussion with her fellow Hamptonians, she spoke about the importance of not just the presidential election, but local and state.
“Local and state elections are some of the most important elections, in the fact that it directly influences the area in which you live, and [the elected officials] are the ones who write the policies that impact you every single day,” Kiazolu stated.
Kiazolu also elaborated on Omega Psi Phi’s message of spurring people to vote. She stressed the importance of black representation in the voting process, stating that with the power of the vote, the black community can work to take control of their neighborhoods, and have the government work for them, instead of the other way around.
“Politics are a part of your life,” said Georquel Goodwin, commenting on the importance of staying connected and up-to-date with your local representatives.
The night wasn’t purely centered around encouraging young, black people to vote. As the event drifted into its final minutes, the conversation shifted to the state of black civil rights, as well as the ongoing issue of police brutality in America. In response, Omega Psi Phi and Kiazolu both
pushed home the message to be one’s own advocate and join the struggle to push for change. Kiazolu in particular spoke up to encourage the audience, and anyone else, to be the changemakers that push for a new America.
As the event drew to a close, the Hampton audience showed their love for the speech made with positive comments and excited encouragement to foster change in their own communities. The Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. not only succeeded in encouraging the public to vote for their local officials but they, along with Nupol Kiazolu, helped fuel a sense of immense black pride that made this event a roaring success.