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July 21, 2020

Edward M. Kennedy Institute to host advocates and experts for timely conversation on voting rights

Event will feature grassroots organizations and former congressional staff discussing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and current issues of voting rights and disenfranchisement

Photograph No. 306-SSM-4C-46-14 (Photographer Rowland Scherman); “Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial]“; Miscellaneous Subjects, Staff and Stringer Photographs, 1961 – 1974; Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 – 2003, Record Group 306; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD

Boston, MA – On Thursday, July 23, at 1:00 p.m., the Edward M. Kennedy Institute will host a conversation on voting rights that features grassroots organizations that garnered national support for the Voting Rights Act, former Congressional staff who helped ensure passage of the landmark legislation, and discussions around how the United States is currently facing similar crises around disenfranchisement.

The Voting Rights Act, originally passed in 1965, has undergone multiple revisions in Congress. Senator Edward M. Kennedy was a staunch supporter of the legislation and had advocated for the elimination of the poll tax prior to its passage. Throughout his time in the United States Senate, Senator Kennedy worked with members of Congress, staff, and grassroots organizations to ensure that all voices were heard. Despite this work and law, many voters across the country are still disenfranchised.

While the Institute’s facility remains closed for the time being, its commitment to civic engagement and civic education is as strong and vibrant as ever. This program marks the Institute’s seventh interactive online offering which will be available both as a live event and as a recorded resource afterward. Any member of the general public who would like to attend can register here.

• Lydia Camarillo, president, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
• Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO, California Community Fund, former Senate Committee on the Judiciary staff
• Mark Schneider, former legislative aide, Senator Edward M. Kennedy
• Burton Wides, former chief counsel, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
• Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones and author of “Give Us the Ballot,” moderator

Getting to the Point on Voting Rights – virtual event

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m. EST

This conversation will be conducted online through a Zoom video conference. Registration is recommended and available here.

The program’s livestream can be access here.
This event is OPEN PRESS. RSVP to

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. Learn more via


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