September 1, 2016
“What do we do. WE vote! In Each and Every Election! We vote, we vote in Each and Every Election!” This is the rallying cry of the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP). Since 1986. Tim Stevens and hundreds of other B-PEPPERS have worked diligently to make this cry a reality.
The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) has for some THIRTY YEARS been strongly advocating that African Americans VOTE in EACH and EVERY election! With this Presidential November 8th Election upon us, the importance of our vote, with the Supreme Court in the balance, is possibly more important than ever.
For many years B-PEP has partnered with the CISP Program in what we have called B-PEP’s ‘ROLL TO THE POLLS,’ which provides FREE transportation, on a non-partisan basis, to anyone who needs it in many of our predominantly African American communities on Election Day. We have done this both in Primary Elections and in General Elections. For the November 8th Election that tradition will continue. Our intention, however, is to expand our Roll to the Polls program. We hope to do this in partnership with other area organizations and agencies. We would love to have the partnership of area churches throughout the Metropolitan Pittsburgh Area, to provide church vans, with drivers, to augment our B-PEP Roll to the Polls initiative.
We also want each church to begin to market B-PEP’s ELECTION PROTECTION PROGRAM, through which we send volunteers and staff members out on Election Day to visit various polling locations to ensure that there are no problems, and/or to report to us when there are problems. If anyone would be willing to join our efforts, which are supported through our statewide connections, please let us know. We are also calling upon area churches to provide B-PEP Voter Registration Teams within their churches. Registration ends on October 11th and it is important that all of us do what we can to make certain that we are registering as many new voters as possible. Spread the word, help register more people to vote and help us to get them out to vote.
Please contact us at 412-212-8775 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your voice and willingness to be a strong partner to B-PEP’s efforts to politically empower our community. You can also reach us through 412-758-2056 and speak with B-PEP’s Civic Engagement Coordinator, Lorraine Cook Cross.
In addition to carrying out the Mission of B-PEP to urge African Americans to vote in every election, B-PEPs other initiatives provide a broad platform for non-partisan political advocacy and action, as well as for civil rights, social justice and peace.
The Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV) was launched on February 8, 2007 out of the need to address the issue of violence in our communities. According to an alarming report that year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was leading the nation in homicide rates for African Americans. A working group comprised of youth, street level workers, community and religious leaders, representatives from government and education institutions, and concerned citizens from across the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, was established to identify strategies and ways to significantly decrease the violence which plagued many of the communities in the Pittsburgh region. Hundreds of people came together, over a period of many months, to create a comprehensive, anti-violence strategic document – Strategies for Change, completed in 2008. A second, expanded edition — Strategies for Change: Building More Peaceful Communities and a companion document for schools and youth-serving organizations – contained hundreds of action points, strategies, and suggestions for implementation by community partners from athletes to youth. Adding new strategies, CAV is currently in the process of writing a third edition, which will be available soon.
The Coalition Against Violence has recently introduced the Youth Summit Program, which is taking the message of anti-violence to area schools. We have conducted summits for students from Brashear, University Prep, Perry, CAPA, Westinghouse, and Holy Family Academy. The Youth Summit coordinators are diligently working to bring the Youth Summit Programs to more schools this year.
The Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable (CEIR) is another B-PEP initiative spearheaded by Chairman and CEO Tim Stevens. The purpose of CEIR is to achieve higher levels of inclusion of people of color, and a diversity in employment, in business ownership and in business development in the Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania region. The Roundtable’s vision is to bring about measurable, lasting change and breakthroughs in workforce diversity, inclusion and economic opportunities. CEIR recently held its Fourth Conference, bringing together a truly diverse group of people from entry level to the C-Suite, to “create pebbles of possibilities for ladders to opportunities.”
We look forward to your partnership in B-PEP’s voter registration, Roll to the Polls, and Election Protection efforts.
We invite you to participate in the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence and the Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable.
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT!!!! OUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE!!!
Yours in the struggle,
Tim Stevens, Chairman & CEO
The Black Political Empowerment Project