“Change Depends on You”- Focus of Election 2012 Watch Party - Higher Education

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“Change Depends on You”- Focus of Election 2012 Watch Party

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Concern was apparent and emotions were high at the 2012 #VoteReady Election Night Watch party at the Washington Post as everyone gathered to watch and discuss election projections. The watch party, which was sponsored by Urban Cusp, Impact DC, VerySmartBrothas.com, The Root DC, and WPGC included snacks and refreshments, live call-ins, music, election results coverage, and a panel discussion on the election.

Live music kept the spirits high, as did the loud cheers every time Obama was projected a winner in a new state with supporters celebrating every small step towards victory.

Panelists included Rahiel Tesfamariam, founder and Editorial Director for Urban Cusp, NBA Veteran and blogger Ethan Thomas, Angela Rye, the co-founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships at IMPACT-DC and DC Republican political consultant, Raynard Jackson.

The live panel talked about their personal views on Romney’s campaign, debated on whether there was still hope for change in 2012, voter suppression, and the importance of each person taking the necessary steps towards political engagement.  Discussions got heated as issues such as women’s healthcare and the candidates’ views on other topics came up. 

Arguments included the conclusion that problems at polls and long lines may have been the cause of voter suppression and highlighted the significance of being a part of the movement for change. Race was one of the hot topics when panelists suggested that it was impossible to live in a color-blind society and encouraged individuals to make sure that their voices are heard.

“I think that with that election and the 4 years since has taught us is that one man and one woman is never going to do everything in this country;  each person is responsible,” Tesfamariam stated. “The hope and change, I believe,  rests in each person.”

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In agreement, Rye  stated that this is not about thinking “black people are stupid.”  She elaborated explaining that there is no clarity in the process of voting and no issue of access in minority communities for important aspects such as education.

The panel only lasted 30 minutes before returning to a live broadcast of the election on several news channels although NBC was the ultimate news source for the event.  Attendees were given an option to go to a room with audio to be able to listen to what was being said on the news while others stayed in the room. Others chose to stay in the room with the DJ, enjoying the music while keeping a close eye on the poll results and projections of winners state by state. Regardless of which room you were in, it was obvious by the loud cheers each time when the news projected that Obama was ahead.

Social media was also a huge aspect of the election party in which sponsors encouraged attendees to tweet with hashtags #WaPo and #VoteReady.  As the night winded down and President Obama was predicted as the wining candidate, celebrations began with many choosing to go to the White House to join the crowd of students ready to celebrate and to become a part of history.

Organizers of the event kept emphasizing that everyone must stay involved and be politically active. For tomorrow and till the next election, the event sponsors only had one thing to reiterate: Keep focusing on making a difference, one step at a time, because every person’s actions matter.

Related:  President Obama, left, told Rev. Al Sharpton’s civil rights group that the future of voting rights is in grave danger.
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