Germantown resident Lawanda Horton Sauter is determined that Black people will be well-informed for the upcoming election—despite a history of online trolls targeting Black voters with propaganda.
“This election is pressing,” Sauter said. “There is a lot of voter apathy, suppression and misinformation out there that targets specifically people of color.”
Horton Sauter launched the advertising campaign Bold, Black & Informed (BB&I), with the mission of addressing voter apathy, voting misinformation, and voter suppression in the Black community. She is partnering with The Local, a newspaper and website serving northwest Philadelphia, and collecting submission-based art for the campaign ads. The art will share information about registration and voting.
“We need to make people aware of the various ways that these groups try to suppress our vote,” Sauter said. “And we need to help people access verified information so that they are making informed decisions.”
Four years after Russian operatives utilized social media to worsen racial divisions in the United States and suppress Black voter turnout, the same tactics have emerged in the 2020 presidential campaign. The LA Times, The Washington Post, NPR and other news outlets have reported Black communities being targeted by misinformation campaigns this summer.
“We are their favorite group of people to target with this type of information because we already by and large have a distrust of the government,” Sauter said. “That’s an essential component to sharing this information.”
Sauter said she envisions a reliable and trusted source of voter information for Black people, by Black people. The campaign will roll out social media ads once sufficient funding is established. In the meantime, viewers can find BB&I ads on their Instagram page.
The Instagram account is currently focused on voter registrations and mail-in ballot information. Sauter said as those deadlines pass, they will upload information regarding other election topics: “Because we want to make sure that people take those actions right away,” Sauter said.
For more information on Bold, Black & Informed, visit their website on how you can be involved.