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Nsé Ufot


On January 5, 2021—after traveling thousands of miles on Georgia's highways and backroads and countless conversations with voters—I watched a son of Savannah and the former Chair of the New Georgia Project's Board of Directors, Raphael Warnock, become the first Black U.S. Senator from the State of Georgia.

Senator Warnock's historic victory, alongside the election of Senator Ossoff and President Biden, was supposed to solidify enough political muscle in Washington to finally pass legislation that would indelibly secure the voting rights of millions of Americans.

We are still waiting on the much-needed reforms demanded by Black communities in Georgia and across the country. Additionally, we are facing a growing "whitelash" that began as a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and has evolved into new voter suppression laws in states across the country.

I wish I could say I was surprised by everything that's happened since January 5, 2021. But I grew up Black and poor in an immigrant family on the southside of Atlanta, and I'm all too familiar with the structural reality of white supremacy. That reality includes the many political, organizing, leadership development, and so-called "social justice" spaces that never fully welcomed my curiosity, questions, priorities, and certainly not my Blackness as a young activist.

That's why I set out to build The New Georgia Project Action Fund, a political home for folks in Georgia who have been excluded and left behind for too long—Black folks, brown folks, young people, rural Georgians, LGBTQ+ folks, and whoever else has had the systemic odds of inequity stacked against them.

We will not relent in our sustained demand for federal voting protections, and our recent victories prove what's possible in our state and our country when we move together.

We showed up in unprecedented numbers and elected our first Black woman Vice President. Black artists continue to set the tone, standard, and conversation in music, film, dance, theater, poetry, and canvas. The President honored his commitment, and we now have our first Black woman Supreme Court nominee. And, in a few months, Georgians will, hopefully, elect America's first Black woman governor.

The failed January Senate vote on federal voting rights legislation clarified what many of us already knew for the rest of the country. It showed us who is willing to center our rights and still cleave to a racist status quo. Who insists that they are on our side even as they demand that Black America continue to work with a political party that barely believes in our right to exist—much less wield actual power. But, most importantly, it showed us the limits of what our current elected leaders in Washington are able, or in some cases, willing, to do for us.

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