MEMPHIS, Tenn — Monday, the National Civil Rights Museum launched ImagineAnAmerica, a digital platform that heightens awareness of the privilege and necessity of voting. #ImagineAnAmerica encourages us to get out and vote, no matter what! It connects voters to resources that enable community activism and accountability. While the initiative is designed to engage young voters, first-time voters and non-voters, its goal is to reach across generations, ethnicities and political ideologies to mobilize citizens to envision a nation that lives up to its democratic ideals.
Recently, Americans have been inundated with images of racial violence, economic instability, pandemic misinformation, government dysfunction and abuse of power. With a generation of young people exposed to institutional mistrust, it is no wonder there is voter apathy among millennials and Gen-Xers, the largest age group of eligible voters, during one of the most critical election cycles in this nation’s history. To overcome the malaise that facilitates willful voter suppression, the museum endeavors to honor the fight for voting rights and bridge generational gaps by acknowledging the barriers, providing accurate information and serving as a link to empower the nation to imagine an America and vote to achieve that vision. Not voting is not an option.
The ImagineAnAmerica platform provides a historical backdrop, a civic road map highlighting how far we've come and how to navigate the journey ahead. By casting creative vision and inspiring hope, the museum seeks to unite voters through stories of perseverance and power to push forward civil and human rights issues, foster an informed electorate and encourage new change makers.
“Civic engagement is critical for every American citizen. At the top of that list is exercising our vote in every election. Not voting is not an option. To create positive social change we must work both outside and within our electoral system. And our youngest voters need to understand how important their vote is to creating change,” said museum president, Terri Lee Freeman. “ImagineAnAmerica is a tool to help people do just that.”
Throughout America’s civil rights history, young people have initiated positive change and led movements that call for justice and accountability, as was the legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis. Lewis emphasized the the vote as “the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have.” In that same spirit, this platform envisions what a better America should look like, and positions voting as the call to action to achieve a country that truly values freedom, liberty and justice for all.
ImagineAnAmerica is a social and digital campaign anchored by an interactive website with a voting rights timeline, voter statistics, and real-time, practical information about access to voting state-by-state. The website encourages viewers to share their stories using the hashtag #ImagineAnAmerica or #YourVoteYourVoice. For more information, visit ImagineAnAmerica.org.