The Thought Leaders Issue: Elaine Welteroth

The Thought Leaders Issue: Elaine Welteroth

The Thought Leaders Issue: Elaine Welteroth

The writer and cultural ambassador of When We All Vote addresses voter suppression, individuals left out of the political process, and swing States.

The writer and cultural ambassador of When We All Vote addresses voter suppression, individuals left out of the political process, and swing States.

Photography: Inez & Vinoodh

Text: Czar Van Gaal

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“Our democracy is at stake in this election. That is not hyperbole. We have to fight like hell against voter suppression. We need every single eligible voter to do more than just cast a vote—we each need to [convince] the non-voters in our networks to cast their [votes], too. There is too much on the line for us not to put it all on the line.

“It’s important to remember that not everyone in our country has access to vote. There are immigrants and formerly incarcerated people who contribute to our communities and are affected every single day by the laws of this land but yet, they are left out of the political process. I vote with their interests in mind, and I vote on behalf of the people who came before me, who fought for me to have this privilege. As a descendent of enslaved people in this country, it is a freedom my ancestors fought hard for. I truly believe not [voting] would undermine their sacrifice and their fight. It’s the absolute least I can do to effect the change I want to see in the world.

“Minnesota is an example of a fairly new critical swing state. It has been 32 primarily a blue state since 1932, but Trump nearly won in 2016. Now, after George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis and the protests that have ensued, followed by Minneapolis’ motion to abolish the police department, divisions are growing and voter outcome is particularly unpredictable, especially with both presidential candidates now touting similar messages addressing crime spikes and rioting.

“I am always inspired by the way Brittany Packnett uses her voice as an educator and activist to break down and [shine] light [on] complex, intersectional issues that impact the Black community. I admire Angela Rye’s fearlessness and unapologetic approach in speaking truth to power on every platform from television to social media. Conversations with young people give me hope that the more equitable future we are fighting for will be achieved because of their fervor and their continued fight. So many of the young people I know are light years ahead!”

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Credits: VLM STUDIO KIM POLLOCK (AGENT) JODOKUS DRIESSEN (LIGHTING DIRECTOR) MARC KROOP (STUDIO MANAGER) BRIAN ANDERSON (DIGITAL TECHNICIAN) VLM PRODUCTIONS TUCKER BIRBILIS (PRODUCER) EVA HARTE (PRODUCTION COORDINATOR) JOHN NADHAZI (PRODUCTION MANAGER) JOE HUME (PHOTO ASSISTANT) RETOUCHING STEREOHORSE

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