2023 Fall Public Forum

for Black Voters Matter

Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, 11:30 AM-2 PM  |  True Reformer Building  |
1200 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009  |  Google map

A virus of voter suppression has been unleashed in our nation, empowered by the Shelby County v. Holder decision, that is spreading while the spectre of another national election plagued by misinformation looms.  How can each one of us ensure that all citizens have the power of an informed vote?

Join us at JusticeAid’s Fall Public Forum, Boots to the Ballot Box, for a discussion on voter suppression moderated by MSNBC Host and documentarian Joy Reid with social justice activists LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, co-founders of Black Voters Matter.

Come at 11:30 for light bites – and leave inspired to join the fight for voting rights. A live YouTube feed will be available to those who cannot attend in person.

Oct. 16, 11:30 AM-2 PM, True Reformer Building, 1200 U Street NW DC
Attending the JusticeAid forum is free, but we ask you to register for the live event or YouTube video.

Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst for MSNBC and host of “AM Joy,” which airs Saturdays and Sundays from 10 A.M. ET to noon ET. She is also the author of the book “Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide” (William Morrow/Harper Collins 2015), co-editor of “We Are The Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama” (Bloomsbury USA), and a columnist at The Daily Beast.

Reid was previously the host of “The Reid Report,” a daily program that offered Reid’s distinctive analysis and insight on the day’s news. Before that, Reid was the Managing Editor of theGrio.com, a daily online news and opinion platform devoted to delivering stories and perspectives that reflect and affect African-American audiences. Reid joined theGrio.com with experience as a freelance columnist for the Miami Herald and as editor of the political blog The Reid Report. She is a former talk radio producer and host for Radio One, and previously served as an online news editor for the NBC affiliate WTVJ in Miramar, FL.

 During the 2004 presidential campaign, Reid served as the Florida deputy communications director for the 527 “America Coming Together” initiative, and was a press aide in the final stretch of President Barack Obama’s Florida campaign in 2008. Reid’s columns and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, New York magazine, The Guardian, the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Times and Salon.com.

Reid graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a concentration in film, and is a 2003 Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @JoyAnnReid and “like” her on Facebook at Joy Reid Official.

Cliff Albright is a 2020 Soros Equality Fellow and co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund (and BVM Capacity Building Institute) which builds community and organizational capacity related to Black voting power.

BVM received national attention in 2017 when they helped mobilize Black voters during the U.S. Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Since then, Cliff and the BVM team have traveled throughout thirteen primarily southern states in “The Blackest Bus in America” energizing voters and exposing voter suppression.

Cliff serves as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities. Cliff previously lived in historic Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing financial resources to Alabama’s blackbelt region. Cliff attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama.

Cliff has contributed articles to and been featured on MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, BlavityThe Guardian, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

LaTosha Brown is an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights.

She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power building southern based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race. Ms. Brown is principal owner of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting firm in Atlanta, GA. For more than 25 years, she has served as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, government, public foundations and private donors.

Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert and resource in political strategy, rural development and special programming for a number of national and regional philanthropies. She is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress.

Damon T. Hewitt is the President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Hewitt has more than 20 years of civil rights litigation and policy experience, including prior leadership roles in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors. Formerly, as executive vice president at the national Lawyers’ Committee, he coordinated the organization’s strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts to advance the fight for racial justice.

Prior to joining the national Lawyers’ Committee, Hewitt was the inaugural executive director of the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color—a philanthropic network of more than three dozen national and local foundation presidents focused on shifting policies, structures, and the false narratives that negatively impact our nation’s sons and brothers.

Hewitt previously worked as a Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundations, where he coordinated special projects, including philanthropic responses to the uprisings following police killings of unarmed Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland.

He worked for more than a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he was lead counsel on a variety of litigation and policy matters and supervised teams of lawyers and policy experts. He started his career as a Skadden Fellow. He also coordinated organization-wide litigation and advocacy efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina, establishing a satellite office in his hometown of New Orleans. In this capacity, he developed advocacy efforts on education, policing, and fair housing. One of his most important cases, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, catalyzed nearly $500M in new relief for Louisiana homeowners.

Hewitt also served as executive director of the New York Task Force on Police-on-Police Shootings, an entity created to analyze police practices after off-duty African American and Latino police officers were killed by fellow officers after being mistaken for “criminal” suspects.

Hewitt appears frequently in broadcast media and is quoted in print publications. He is co‐author of a book, The School‐to‐Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform, and has published numerous articles in law journals and popular media on issues ranging from affirmative action, school discipline, and progressive education reform to voting rights, police accountability, and juvenile justice policy. Hewitt holds a B.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He currently resides in suburban Maryland where he and his partner are raising their three young children to take on the next generation’s racial justice work.

Hear about current voter suppression tactics being deployed to disenfranchise lower-income and minority communities, and how this impacts critical issues such as public safety, food insecurity, Medicaid expansion, and environmental health—all the while depressing the economic power of these communities. Learn what you can do from where you are to help break down barriers to voting rights.

JusticeAid has spent a decade sharing lessons and insights from some of America’s most influential activists on civil rights and social justice.  This Fall’s free public forum, Boots to the Ballot Box, offers an opportunity for an up close and personal view of changemakers who are influencing our nation’s history.
Later, meet us at the show!

Benefit Dinner Concert with Tank and the Bangas.
Tickets start at $250 and include drinks, dinner, and dessert. Doors open 6 pm.


The goal of Black Voters Matter is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Black Voters Matter believes in working directly with communities to define agendas and implement solutions that create meaningful change. With this in mind, through voter engagement, policy advocacy, and organizational development/training, they seek to increase the capacity of community-based organizations working on a wide range of issues: from mass incarceration to gentrification, from healthcare to education, and more.