Riz Ahmed features in a new campaign urging people from ethnic minorities to vote at the upcoming general election.
Launching today, blacksdontvote.com is the latest hard-hitting campaign by Operation Black Vote. The campiagn has been produced by Saatchi & Saatchi.
To support the campaign, high-profile celebrities Riz Ahmed and Jamal Edwards appear in short films highlighting the facts, but also inspiring young people from all communities particularly BME to be the change makers and engage in civic society.
Ahmed will also be tweeting the launch of the campaign - urging people to visit the website and register.
Launched in response to statistics revealing the stark reality of low BME voter registration, the campaign aims to demand attention, lay bare the facts and ultimately empower BME individuals to realise the potential political clout that could force politicians to address areas of persistent race inequality.
In the last general election, 1.4 million potential votes were not used by BME individuals
Today, 28% of BME’s are not even registered in comparison to 6% of white people. Amongst Black Africans this figure rises to nearer 50%.
BME voter turnout is less than the national average but made worse by non–voter registration.
The motivations behind these figures lie very much in a great sense of powerlessness, a unrepresentative parliament and policies, such as austerity, that hit BME individuals harder.
The essence of this campaign is to transform people from powerless to powerful by registering to vote, making demands and by voting.
Based on the campaign idea that Black people don’t vote, Riz and Jamal have created short online films calling out the difference that the BME vote could make to the world we live in.
Campaign posters will appear at large poster locations around the UK and will also be promoted on social media.
The posters will display a simple non-branded black URL on a white background: blacksdontvote.com.
Directing people to the campaign website, the posters aim to create intrigue and drive people to find out more.
Once on the website, a short message will be displayed stating: 'Black people don’t vote, but if we did... we could, in effect, decide who will win next month’s election.'
OBV research around this election has revealed startling information:
Seven of the most marginal seats have huge BME populations. 31 out of 50 of the most marginal seats in the county have BME voter electorate that dwarf the voter majority of that seat. Overall the BME vote could decide 70 seats.
Theresa May goes to the polls with a slim majority of just 12.
Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, said: “Too many Black and Asian people are not voting but if we did, we would massively influence this election.
"The facts don't lie: 31 of the 50 most marginal seats in the country has BME electoral that dwarfs the existing majority.
"If we register to vote, and vote, we have the power to unlock talent and build a society in which we can all truly belong. It literally takes 3 minutes to register to vote.”