(Boston, Mass. | Tuesday, October 27, 2020) – Aiming to accelerate momentum for voter participation just one week before the general election, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate has teamed up with Global Citizen to launch jointly an original-composition music video highlighting the power and importance of voting.
Entitled “Keep Marching,” written and performed by Dustin Thomas, a/k/a O LOVER, the video links the critical importance of registering and voting to justice and equity movements dating back to the enactment of the 15th amendment, the women’s suffrage campaign that led to the enactment of the 19th Amendment in 1920, and the 1963 March on Washington up through today.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President of the Board and Co-Founder of the Kennedy Institute, said, “This new platform allows us to tell the powerful story of meaningful citizen action in an exciting and inspiring way. My late husband, Senator Edward Kennedy, believed deeply in the power of young people to effect positive change, and as this music video highlights, marching and voting can achieve that change. The Kennedy Institute is a proud supporter of Just Vote. Our future depends on it.”
Global Citizen and the Kennedy Institute share a commitment to encouraging voter participation under the campaign theme Just Vote.
Simon Moss, managing director of Global Citizen added, “We have been gratified to see in recent months the many corporations, nonprofits, and individuals who have answered the call to encourage their fellow citizens to get out and vote. Through this music video, the Just Vote campaign speaks to young people who have made their voices heard through marches and demonstrations but have yet to be a force in elections. This is their time. This is their opportunity.”
This year’s national election marks the first time that some 16 million U.S. citizens born between 1999 and 2002 –– a key target audience for the video –– will be able to cast a vote for president.
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 www.emkinstitute.org.
The Kennedy Institute launched its JustVote.org website last month on National Voter Registration Day. The site serves as a comprehensive and permanent online resource for informing, engaging, and educating the American public on the importance and fundamental right of voting. JustVote.org contains critical information for voters including how to register and where, how, and when they can vote. The site also features expert commentary, portals to live programs, historic and contemporary voting data, as well as links to other organizations all dedicated to the importance and fundamental political right of voting.
Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards with tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion, affecting the lives of more than 880 million people. For more information, visit GlobalCitizen.org.
Just Vote is a non-partisan, get-out-the-vote campaign launched by Global Citizen and HeadCount to mobilize support from artists, influencers, media and corporations to give young Americans the tools to use their voice in the 2020 U.S. elections. The non-partisan effort aims to engage 1 million young voters and get 50,000 young people registered for the first time or re-registered ahead of November 3, 2020. Visit www.globalcitizen.org/justvote to learn more.
HeadCount is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes participation in democracy through music, culture, and digital media. Since 2004 the organization has registered one million voters and worked with a long list of musicians and partners including Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Dave Matthews Band, JAY-Z, Beyoncé, March for Our Lives, RuPaul’s DragCon, MTV, and Dead & Company. With 40,000 volunteers, street teams in most major U.S. cities, and a presence at more than 1,000 events each year, HeadCount ranks as one of the most active grassroots civic participation organizations in the United States. Following COVID-19 restrictions, the organization quickly pivoted to an all-digital approach that led to innovation and online initiatives to fill the needs of the public in using their voices in democracy. For more information, visit HeadCount.org.
“There is so much more that unites us than divides us.” O Lover is the brain child of creative director and writer Dustin Thomas. Born of East African, Irish, and Native American descent, Dustin grew up farming in a small town in the American heartland before traveling the world as a performing artist. After hundreds of shows and speaking engagements across Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Europe, Dustin settled in Los Angeles and built a network of visual artists, singers, songwriters, performers, and entrepreneurs from all different cultural backgrounds. Shocked by the divisive state of current affairs, the inspiration for his debut song “Keep Marching” came on the heels of the social and political unrest during the summer of 2020. “I wanted to write something that everyone could see a part of themselves in, regardless of ideology or background.” Writes Dustin, “Pain is universal, but so is healing. Our troubles, our triumphs, our struggles and our sacrifices, these are the ups and downs of our human existence that give us all common ground. At such a pivotal time in human history it’s imperative that we learn to really hear one another and find that common ground so we can march forward.” His debut song “Keep Marching” is a rally cry for all people from all walks of life to work together to make a better life for all. “It is my hope that by sharing compassion for our collective hurts, we can lay the foundation for our collective healing.”
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