Maria A. Davis is no stranger to lending her voice to a cause. Diagnosed with HIV in 1995, the music industry insider has been a passionate advocate for HIV awareness and education for more than two decades. She has partnered with LIFEbeat, which mobilizes the music industry to fight HIV, as well as BET’s “Rap-It-Up” community service campaign to educate the community about HIV. Davis also participated in Merck’s “I Design” national education campaign and helped tailor it to women’s specific health needs.
Her latest cause is #IAMTHEVOTE. Davis helped spearhead the initiative, which launched August 26 and is geared toward registering voters and spreading awareness about the importance of completing the U.S. census.
The campaign has hosted a number of outdoor registration drives in Harlem, New York. Weather permitting, events will take place every Friday until October 9, which is the last day of voter registration in New York. Social distancing will be observed, and masks are required. The community events are known as “parties with a purpose” and have featured special appearances by rapper Jim Jones, actor Marc John Jefferies and Harlem fashion icon Dapper Dan and music by DJ Bring Em Out. From a dance-a-thon to election bingo, each event offers participants a different interactive experience, but the goal of empowering voters is front and center.
“This is a collaborative effort to rally people around the nation to vote!” said Davis. “Our goal is to inform the masses that every single vote counts and also to encourage people to fill out the census!”
Representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau will be on hand to answer questions about filling out the form, and volunteers of all ages will help people register to vote. One 9-year-old volunteer told potential voters, “I can’t vote yet, but you can, and I am going to be a future voter.”
Looks like Davis is inspiring others to use their voice too.
Check out more photos from past events: