The 10th Word - Gratitude
Vote With Love surprised us all. What started in 2016 as a few t-shirts and a message has grown into a philosophy and a way of life.
By Latanya Hilton   |   September 17, 2020

The stakes are high – maybe even the highest they have ever been. Aside from the all-important Presidential election, there are countless other candidates and issues for us to determine. During a time of civil unrest, a global pandemic, an environmental crisis and much more, we know our actions right now will directly impact the next generation. We developed Vote With Love as a nonpartisan effort to grow empathy and help voters prepare to cast their most thoughtful and informed vote yet.

“What’s love got to do with it?” That’s the question we get most often.

Our answer? Everything.

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Incorporating empathy and love into our vote may be just the approach we need to see a country that addresses our deepest concerns. In the face of critical issues, the need to take the time to truly understand what we’re voting for is on the forefront. And the truth is, what we’re voting for is everything we are grateful for. Our families. Our homes. Our communities. Our jobs. Our Mother Earth. Our lives. It’s all in there.

So where does gratefulness come in? Well we believe gratitude is at the heart of voting with love. It’s a small drop, a single vote, an honest pledge, a genuine connection that will have rippling effects across the nation and it all starts with us committing to Vote With Love.

Recently our founders traveled to Selma, AL and made the historic walk across the legendary Edmund Pettus Bridge where hundreds of Black southerners marched for their right to vote in 1965. As a diverse collective of women and leaders of color, we know those steps were meant for us. They are the markings of a worn path of sacrifice and hope that paved the way for us to bring this initiative to life. As individuals, we’ve grown in our empathy and passion. As a collective, we’ve strengthened our resolve and are guided by the words of the late Congressman John Lewis – “Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”

On the back of our Vote With Love t-shirts, we carefully selected nine shared values to help drive how we will show up to vote this year.

Knowledge
Courage
Respect
Passion
Honor
Wisdom
Empathy
Patience
Kindness

These nine values have become a constant reminder of the possibilities. In order to see a world that reflects our hearts, it takes challenging ourselves and others with purpose, embracing moments of reflection and connection, and taking intentional action to bring our communities to an understanding that we are better together than apart.

Now that we’re less than two months away from #Election2020, we can add a 10th word – Gratitude. This Vote With Love journey has been transformative for all of us and we will be forever grateful to have been a part of something so special.

We are approaching a huge milestone in determining the priorities of our country. We invite you to have some heart and let love play a part. Will you join us?

(This blog was written in partnership with the team at A Network for Grateful Living. Learn more about their mission to inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility.)