Suppressing the Vote: What it Looks Like, What Led Us Here, & What We Can Do to Fix It

Brittany Packnett
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 6:00pm

Rev. William J. Barber, II
President & Sr. Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach
Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
Laverne Berry
Attorney and Voting Rights Advocate
Producer, Capturing the Flag
Alex Keyssar
Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Brittany Packnett (Moderator)
Fall 2018 Resident Fellow, Institute of Politics
Vice President of National Community Alliances & Engagement, Teach For America
Co-Founder, Campaign Zero


Rev. William J. Barber II, President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, Lawrence Berry, attorney, voting rights advocate, and producer of Capturing the Flag, and Alex Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, addressed the Forum in an event moderated by Brittany Packnett, Fall 2018 IOP Resident Fellow and Vice President of National Community Alliances & Engagement, Teach for America. The panelists spoke about the history of voter suppression in America and how it has evolved since 1789. Current day voter suppression may not be as explicit as it was two hundred years ago, but it is still very present—in the forms of voter ID laws, voter affidavits, etc.—and fundamentally at odds with American values of justice, liberty, and equality. The panelists agree that the key to changing the deeper moral narrative of the country is year-round voter mobilization and, in the words of Rev. Barber, “organizing everywhere if we are serious about the transformation of this democracy.”