Posted by Yara Beydoun on June 13, 2018 in Blog
Frilly tutus, unicorn horns, colorful makeup, and a rainbow flag: those items, along with a positive attitude, were the necessary staples for Motor City Pride last weekend as AAI joined the festivities to encourage attendees to #YallaVote. The atmosphere was one of excitement as the community came together to share messages of equality and love at this annual Detroit festival, and this energy translated into enthusiasm about the upcoming elections.
As the Yalla Vote Field Organizer in Michigan, I spoke with many people of all ages and identities, and we helped many young and newly eligible voters register to vote. Many Pride participants already incorporate civic engagement in their daily routines as a result of a long history of necessary activism in the LGBTQ+ community. This understanding of the importance of elections led to a reoccurring action: registered voters bringing their friends to the table to register to vote. In doing so, our collective efforts are helping preserve a culture of engagement that is vital to democracy.
Many people also stopped by our #YallaVote table to express their gratitude for AAI’s participation in Motor City Pride. Our community is becoming more diverse and intersectional, and it was clear to me that our presence at Pride---which reflects our diversifying community---meant a lot to Arab Americans and non-Arab Americans alike.