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Art, Power, and the Vote: Jackie Payne

Blog Category:  Advocacy
Jackie Payne—a light-skinned adult woman with straight, dark brown hair—stands at a podium in front of a laptop, looking to her side and behind her at a projected presentation she’s giving. Her left hand is raised to point at the presentation while she speaks.

On November 17, 2019, NMWA’s Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative gathered artists and activists, including Adjoa Asamoah, Jackie Payne, Kim Loper, and Alexandra Bell, for Fresh Talk: Art, Power, and the Vote—100 Years After Suffrage. The speakers explored the history and legacy of women’s suffrage and the ways that artists and activists can collaborate in the fight for social change.

As the 2020 Presidential Election nears, we revisit the powerful talks and wisdom shared by these women. This week, listen to Jackie Payne, executive director of GALvanize USA, an organization that promotes interventions for supporting white women’s progressive activism. Payne discussed her work, which is rooted in “the art of deep canvassing,” a method that has the ability to open hearts and minds.

 “The best outcome from deep canvassing is connection—feeling seen and heard, the opportunity for reflection, self-learning, and ultimately self-persuasion.”
—Jackie Payne

After the 2016 election, Payne describes being struck by the statistic that 52% of white women voted for a candidate who was overtly racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant. She founded GALvanize after discovering that there was no other organization dedicated to targeting what she calls “the persuadable white women’s vote.” In focus groups, community listening sessions, one-on-one interviews, and battleground state surveys, Payne and her team discovered that there are 13 million white women who support issues including a woman’s right to choose, gun safety, and addressing climate change, but who do not reliably vote that way because of gender, social, and cultural barriers. “The fear of looking stupid, getting it wrong, messing up, disturbing the peace, is a huge barrier to white women’s voting now,” Payne said. GALvanize’s interventions focus on building up the confidence of these white women voters so they are empowered to vote true to their values.

In 2020, GALvanize USA and partners including Planned Parenthood, the YWCA, and domestic violence organizations will reach 2.7 million women voters in Pennsylvania, Maine, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Listen to the full presentation and conversation:

Fresh Take Bonus Clip:

Learn more about Payne’s work with GALvanize.

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