Black Women Artists Raise Awareness About Prop. 16 and the Fight for Racial and Gender Equality on the Ballot in California

Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and Alfre Woodard Endorse Prop. 16

As ballots drop, a powerful coalition of Black women artists are coming together to raise awareness about the fight for racial and gender equality on the ballot in California. Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and Alfre Woodard are encouraging voters to vote early — and to vote YES on 16 — to reform affirmative action programs in California and level the playing field for women and people of color.

Ava DuVernay, “Voting YES on Prop 16 is our chance to right the wrongs of the past. Since 1619 and throughout America’s history, the basic rights and guarantees of our democracy have been largely reserved for white people through the intentional exclusion and oppression of people of color. The deep racial and ethnic inequities that exist today are a direct result of structural racism: the historical practices, and laws that maintain white supremacy.”

Issa Rae, “Today Black women make 62 cents on the dollar compared to white men, which is the definition of inequality as a result of white supremacy. I’m voting YES on Prop 16 because I wouldn’t have gotten into college had it not been for affirmative action, which means I wouldn’t have had the same access to opportunities and resources as my white peers…which means I wouldn’t be on the journey to get to where I am to today: happy, doing what I love.”

Tracee Ellis Ross: “Voting yes on Prop 16 is one way to prove that Black Lives Matter by establishing rights to equal opportunities in hiring, employment, promotions, and educational opportunity. That’s why I am proud to join with everyone from Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kamala Harris and Governor Gavin Newsom to the California NAACP and founders of Black Lives Matter, the ACLU, and the California Teachers Association to vote YES on Prop 16.”

Ryan Michelle Bathe: “When we say Black Lives Matter, we have to mean it….If you have $16 to chip in, you can do that today at

Alfre Woodard: “For far too long, women who look like me have faced barriers in hiring, employment, housing, educational opportunity…. That’s why I’m voting YES on Prop 16. It is a concrete step we can take toward removing the barriers to equal opportunity for all Californians. Join me.”