Getty Images

Be About It: Pitchfork Launches Voter Engagement And Mobilization Project

"Come and stay for the music, but while you’re at it, pick up your voter registration card.”

In addition to tackling the musical arena, Pitchfork has recently announced their new political platform for their annual music festival, the Voter Engagement and Mobilization project in conjunction with the Illinois non-profit organization, the Public Action Foundation. The Public Action Foundation is the public research and education arm of the non-partisan and non-profit political organization, Citizen Action/Illinois. The platform is designed to increase voter registration and voting education in Chicago and aims to increase political awareness and participation among younger Chicagoans and the underrepresented residents. The project's aim is to register as many new voters as possible for the complete duration of the festival, from July 15 until July 1, as it comes right on time for the upcoming presidential election. There will be voter registration booths throughout the park and all volunteers will receive free admission.

Spearheaded by Pitchfork Festival founder Mike Reed and William McNary, the co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois and the Public Action Foundation, their partnership goes back since the earliest inception of the festival. According to McNary, while the Pitchfork and Interchange concert series rose to prominence in its early days, Reed partnered with Citizen Action a year later and McNary and decided to give a percentage to the proceeds for voter registration. Fast forward to the present, Reed reached out and decided to partner with the local organization once again.

“Fast forward 11, 12 years later from Pitchfork, it’s now coming back full circle. He said, ‘You are the guys I started with. I want to re-engage you guys, are you all still doing it?’" McNary recalls. "He wanted to make sure we were registering what we call the 'underrepresented populations in government.' We believe we can represent the underrepresented population.”

That particular demographic consists of African-Americans, Latino and Hispanic-Americans, unmarried women and millennials. “They’ve written millennials off. We cannot afford to write them off, we will not write them off. We believe that if properly engaged and if properly given a reason to vote, they will not only vote, but they will change the direction of the country in the time to come.”

“Charitable partnerships like this are one way we show our commitment to our community here in Chicago, to help our audience raise awareness and action," says Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie via email. "With this being an election year that the world is following closely and feeling strongly about, we wanted to find a way to get people involved. Through this program, not only will our readers and festival goers have new tools for engagement, but we can give an extra boost to folks doing good work on the ground here in Chicago.”

McNary stresses the importance of consistent voter outreach in this year’s election. “Voter registration, that’s your entryway into the political process and voter education, giving young people a reason to come out and vote, and finally just because you are registered to vote and just because you have a reason to vote doesn’t mean that you will come out and vote,” he says. “Reminding people to vote, those are the three keys to make sure we have a good turnout, starting at the Pitchfork Festival where we will be registering young people to vote. Come and stay for the music, but while you’re at it, pick up your voter registration card.”

The annual Pitchfork Music Festival will be held in Chicago at Grant Park from Friday, July 15 until Sunday, July 17. The lineup will include performances from Anderson .Paak, Jeremih, FKA Twigs, Mick Jenkins, and many more.


From the Web

More on Vibe

David Becker

Fans Tweet About Erykah Badu's Defense Of R. Kelly At A Chicago Show

Erykah Badu has remained silent after Lifetime aired the six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. The singer and entertainer who once referred to Kelly as her "brother" while hosting the Soul Train Awards and has kept a low profile during the series.

Badu has finally broken her silence during a show at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom in which attendees say the Grammy-award winning singer defended Kelly and instructed others to "keep their opinions to themselves."

Erykah Badu came to Chicago and told us all she finna love R Kelly anyway & we can keep our opinion to ourselves. Mad disrespectful to our city and a shitty use of her platform. Crusty ass bitch.

— hot headed yam (@tomapapito) January 20, 2019

Another attendee tweeted Badu attempt at trying to bring light to the hypocrisy in the public outcry against Kelly.

“what if one of the people who was assaulted by R Kelly becomes an offender? we gonna crucify them too?” -erykah badu at her chicago concert

— IG: @boydonavin (@boyDonavin) January 20, 2019

Many in attendance were hurt by Badu's actions and left conflicted.

I really want to say how much i loved Erykah Badu’s concert tonight.

But i can’t get over how she tried to justify and defend R. Kelly’s actions and reputation during her set... I’m so disappointed...

— jacque (@jacquemarquez_) January 20, 2019

I really don’t want to believe Erykah Badu is sacrificing her music legacy for R. Kelly. I don’t. everyone has their ignorance and places that deeply disappoint me, including my favorite artists (and myself), but supporting child predators is such a nefarious thing to do.

— Myles E. Johnson (@hausmuva) January 20, 2019

This isn't the first time Badu has come under fire for what many deem to be problematic commentary. In April 2016, Badu agreed with a school district that was making it mandatory for girls to wear longer skirts as a way to not "distract" the boys.

Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly prompted Twitter to dig up old tweets.

erykah badu already told y’all she doesn’t believe GIRLS when it comes to matters of sexual assault, harassment, rape, etc. so why y’all shocked now? pic.twitter.com/Eogzatc9aO

— ALEXIS$ 🧚🏾‍♀️ (@lexxdadon) January 20, 2019

Erykah Badu said she empathizes with Hitler because he was a beautiful painter. Why are y'all surprised?

— Experiment 625 (@Mariah__Cara) January 20, 2019

Writer and director dream hampton said Badu was one of many celebrities she contacted to be in the series but denied her request.

Does Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly make you think twice about the singer? Will you continue to listen to Badu's music, or does the defense of R. Kelly mean she's now an enabler? Sound off in the comments.

Continue Reading
Michael Steele

Drake's "In My Feelings" Received The Kidz Bop Treatment

After the release of Drake's chart-topping Scorpion album, his single "In My Feelings" skyrocketed to number one, so it's no surprise the City Girls assisted track received the Kidz Bop treatment.

Since 2000, the compilation LP has sold about 17 million copies and over the weekend, Kidz Bop released its 39th installment offering the world a G-rated and tween-friendly version of today's biggest hits.

Once Twitter learned Kidz Bop laid its prepubescent hands on Drake's song, there was a mixed bag of feelings. Some went along with it and commented positively, while others were frankly offended.

I just saw a Kidz Bop commercial with the Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings and I feel like a curse has been placed on me

— Jeremy (@TacticalRPG) January 10, 2019

That Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings lets me know that hell is a real place.

— Nappy Head Nietzsche (@AugustCulture) January 19, 2019

This #KidzBop version of "In My Feelings" is SENDING me! 😂 pic.twitter.com/EQzTwdbfb6

— Nicholas D. (@Creat1ve) January 18, 2019

This isn't the first time Drake's music has been Kidz Bopped. For Kidz Bop 31, "Hotline Bling" was also featured. The new 18-track album also features Cardi B's "I Like It" as well as Khalid and Normani's "Love Lies."

The lyrics to the hook received a slight change.

KiKi do you love me/are you with me/say you'll never ever leave from beside me/cause I want ya/and I need ya/and I'm down for ya always

And when it came time for the City Girls portion of the song, they turned that down as well.

all of us kids and we hangin' in the rain/hangin' in rain/I need a black card with the code to the safe/code to the safe.

Hey, kids need love too. Watch the Kidz Bop version of Drake's "In My Feelings" below.

Continue Reading
Sarah Duncan

South Carolina High School Students May Soon Take A Personal Finance Class

High school students in South Carolina may now have to pass a personal finance class in order to receive their diploma.

According to reports, Republican lawmakers Luke Rankin and Horry County Senator have filed a pre-bill that will require high school students to take a class that will aim to help students learn how to better budget their money.

"You can really put yourself in a really bad hole that you're gonna be digging yourself out of the rest of your life," financial planner Dr. Christopher St. John said.

The course will cover insurance, taxes, retirement planning, budgeting, banking, and how to avoid too much debt.

Finance website Make Lemonade reports there are more than 44 million borrowers who owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt within the United States. Student loan debt has become the second highest debt among consumers followed by mortgage debt.

The class of 2016, reportedly has $37,172 in student loan debt.

If the bill is passed, it would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year. The course would be required and student who take a test at the end of the year prior to graduation.

Continue Reading

Top Stories