Actor, director, writer, and all-around entertainer Tyler Perry is supporting the move to get out the vote for the upcoming general election with his new “Souls to the Polls” endeavor that has pledged to bring out at least 250,000 Black voters in Florida.
The event, financed by Perry and the Equal Ground Education Fund, will begin on Oct. 24., and take place in a number of locations across Florida that have been constructed to suitable social distancing standards for COVID-19.
Equal Ground is a “Black-led nonpartisan, nonprofit organization” that is focused on developing and fostering “Black political power in Florida.”
On Thursday, Equal Ground announced that it is spending $500,000 to establish “Park & Praise” events in 25 counties, where people can drop off their mail-in ballots, and take part in activities with an emphasis on “entertainment and faith.”
Transportation for “Souls to the Polls” has typically involved busing voters from churches, which was replaced with the new drive-in effort in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The “Park & Praise” events will occur in dozens of locations throughout the 25 counties during the last two weekends before the night of the election. Participants can take part in the proceedings from their own cars, turn in their voting ballots and listen to “local faith and community leaders, gospel choirs, elected officials, musical entertainment and political candidates.”
According to Florida Politics, the event has scheduled proceedings at “the Amway Center in Orlando the afternoon of Oct. 24 led by the Rev. Derick McRae of The Experience Christian Center; at the Bethel Community Baptist Church in St. Petersburg Oct. 24, led by Bishop Manuel Sykes of that church; at the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office in Gainesville on Oct. 25 led by the Rev. Karl Anderson of the Upper Room Ministries; at the Legends Center in Jacksonville on Nov. 1 led by Bishop Reginald Gundy of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church; and at the Doral Central Park in Doral on Nov. 1 led by the Rev. Alphonso J. Jackson, Jr. of the Greater New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.”
There are also events set to take place in Bay, Broward, Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Gulf, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Santa Rosa, Seminole, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington counties.