Sailor Jones, Communications Director, SCSJ, email@example.com, 919-260-5906
Karuna Ramachandran, GRA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-585-8446 ext. 106
The Georgia Redistricting Alliance and ProGeorgia join the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) to prepare Georgia residents to engage and educate communities in fair districting
ATLANTA, GA (September 10, 2021) — As the nation gears up for this decade’s redistricting work, the Georgia Redistricting Alliance and ProGeorgia, in partnership with the regional group Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), are hosting four Georgia-based redistricting fellows.
Each fellow is a graduate of SCSJ’s Community Redistricting Organizations Working for Democracy (or CROWD) Academies. They are assigned to certain regions of the state to educate their communities on the principles of political redistricting and advocate for more inclusive and transparent map-making on the local, state and federal levels.
Fellows include Brunswick’s own Josue Acosta, who saw his communities’ unmet needs and joined the program to help fellow Georgians map their own future. Fellow Gabriel Sanchez of Atlanta says he wants to educate and empower Georgia’s communities to advocate for themselves in this process, and inspire them to help make positive change. Jada Thomas, a college student originally from Carroll County sees redistricting as “a great opportunity to aid in helping my community defeat the political harms that we face.” Fellow Ayesha Abid of Gwinnett County says she wants her community to understand that it is possible for them to decide who represents them.
”The Georgia CROWD fellowship is the culmination of months of training and many hours of hard work by dedicated individuals committed to one common goal: fair voting districts,” said Irving Zavaleta, SCSJ’s Networks Director for Voting Rights. “Georgia Fellows Ayesha Abid, Jada Thomas, Gabriel Sanchez, and Josue Acosta are a testament to what happens when local activists commit to mapping their community’s future for the next decade.”
“The GA CROWD program is an important addition to the work of Georgia Redistricting Alliance (GRA),” said Karuna Ramachandran, Director of Statewide Partnerships at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. “We were able to hire 4 fellows who are now trained and working directly with community partners to define better district maps at the local level. The capacity this brings to our coalition is invaluable and truly allows us to keep momentum and expand on previous fellowship programs we have hosted.”
Redistricting happens every 10 years after the decennial census and is an opportunity to draw new political district boundaries based on population changes. The goal of redistricting is to create equitable and competitive political districts so that people can be represented by legislators who will advocate on behalf of the community’s best interests.
As in many states, redistricting in Georgia has not been well understood and communities across the state have had little say in the way their communities are mapped or represented.
In an effort to put the power back into the hands of Georgia’s people, redistricting fellows are traveling the length of the state to show the people of the state how political maps impact their daily lives and what they can do to be a part of the map-making process.
Those interested in connecting with redistricting fellows for training and assistance should contact their state sponsors:
Georgia Redistricting Alliance, Karuna Ramachandran, email@example.com, 404-585-8446 ext. 106
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Georgia Redistricting Alliance is a coalition of organizations who believe that queer/trans BIPOC community should be at the forefront of the fight to protect our voting power and are preparing OUR communities to lead redistricting in 2021 and 2022.
ProGeorgia is Georgia’s non-profit civic engagement table. It is a new way to create a state we can be proud of. We strive to become a state that takes care of its citizens and our beautiful natural resources. ProGeorgia brings together the power of existing non-profit groups to work in a more strategic way, with new tools and technology, to change the policies of our state. ProGeorgia is building infrastructure by supporting, connecting, and coordinating civic participation efforts of our non-profit member groups. And ProGeorgia is implementing ways to win policy and electoral battles for progressive social change.