The entertainment mogul Tyler Perry will help fund a $500,000 Black voter mobilization effort in Florida, continuing a growing trend of electoral involvement from Black celebrities and athletes ahead of the election.
Mr. Perry has partnered with Equal Ground Education Fund, a nonpartisan Florida group that works to increase Black voter engagement throughout the state. The effort, “Park & Praise,” which is to be formally announced today, will target 25 counties and 250,000 Black residents including in urban hubs such as Broward County and Miami-Dade County. The “Park & Praise” series will set up events where voters can drop off mail-in ballots while hearing from faith leaders, musical acts and gospel choirs.
The effort is an attempt to bring the “Souls to the Polls” model to the age of social distancing. In previous elections, churchgoing Black voters have been a reliable base for the Democratic Party, taking particular advantage of things like early voting after a Sunday service.
“Despite Florida’s historical disenfranchisement of Black voters, our voices will be heard whether we vote by mail or early,” said Jasmine Burney-Clark, the founder of the Equal Ground Education Fund. “Our work to provide robust voter education and ensure that accurate information reaches our communities is the highest priority and is exactly what this partnership with Tyler Perry is going to do.”
Mr. Perry is the latest Black celebrity to join efforts to get out the vote. Another campaign, led by the basketball superstar LeBron James, called “More Than a Vote,” is working to address the shortage of poll workers in Black communities in swing states.