7th Annual CDU President’s Breakfast Dives Into Voting Rights and Redistricting
The 7th annual CDU President’s Breakfast took place virtually in March. The annual event is an opportunity for informed voices to gather for thoughtful conversations about important topics related to CDU’s mission, vision, and goals…and this year was no exception.
This year’s event was held virtually and centered on “Voting Rights and Redistricting: What’s at Stake?” Attendees were treated to a featured conversation between CDU President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle and American author and activist Shaun King. Mr. King shared some of the experiences that motivated him to take action on social justice issues while offering his perspective on how to best address the attack on voting rights and the attempts to silence large swaths of the population for partisan gains.
This was followed by a panel discussion with special guests that was moderated by President Carlisle. Crystal Crawford, Executive Director, Western Center on Law and Poverty, John Yang, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel for Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, along with Shakari Byerly, Partner and Principal Researcher at Evitarus, engaged in a lively exchange about gerrymandering, election integrity, and various legislation impacting voting rights across America.
“The state of our nation’s electoral process raises many questions,” noted President Carlisle at the top of the event. “Is redistricting a tool or a threat? Can you out-organize voter suppression? What happens when instead of the voters choosing their representatives, the representatives choose their voters?”
The panel thoughtfully considered the perils around various restrictive voting policies put into place in some states, and how pending legislation like the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act could reverse recent erosion of voting rights for some populations.
“Who we send to Washington, or the state, city, and local legislatures has a huge impact on everything including healthcare, education, and our economy in ways that can change the fate of minorities and suppress entire segments of our society for generations” warned President Carlisle.
The event also served as a fundraiser and raised in excess of $100k in ticket sales and donations to support the emerging needs of CDU and its students. The entire event has been posted to CDU’s YouTube channel. Click here to enjoy a rebroadcast of the event.