Prof. Robert Laws, University Choir director, spoke to her students at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester about having a voice in the General Election. “This opened the flood gates for them to express to me their emotions about everything that has so drastically altered their lives in 2020,” she said.
Members of University Choir and Laws created the voting incentive #MakeThemHearYou. “They feel the same passion, frustration, anger and call to action that my parents felt in the 1960s,” said Laws. “Being vocalists, they do not want to be silent, they want their voices to be heard and they understand that right now there is no more important way to be heard than by voting.”
Imani Graham, a member of the choir and the University Honors program, participated in the project. “The nature of this year was incredibly heartbreaking. From losing lives from COVID-19 to losing even more lives to racial injustice, it felt like 2020 was giving us blow after blow,” stated Graham. “When Professor Laws brought up the idea, it felt like what we all needed at the time...encouragement and solutions. She was able to incorporate our cultural history and music to make it relevant to students and to press the urgent need to participate in change by voting. I was just happy to be a part of something that felt so much bigger than me and something that empowers other people.”
Here is a video for #MakeThemHearYou that features Isaiah Mudd, a tenor in the choir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1NMBw4B6ew. The video was produced by NCCU alumnus Markeith Lorenzo ‘18 and photography was captured by former NCCU student Aaron Drumwright.
NCCU has a voting precinct on campus that is located in the Turner Law Building (640 Nelson Street). The precinct is open for one stop early voting through Saturday, Oct. 31 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.). The polls will be open on Election Day from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, for registered voters who are assigned to this precinct. For more information, visit Durham County Board of Elections at https://www.dcovotes.com/ or the North Carolina State Board of Elections at https://www.ncsbe.gov/.