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I set out to photograph 21 women voting rights activists. Here’s what they taught me.

DMI Staff

Many women are at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights; I photographed nearly two dozen of them.

2022 is set to be a huge election year in the United States, not least because the midterm elections will determine the control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. During my seven years living in this country as a photojournalist (I’m originally from China), I have witnessed the shifting landscape of voting rights here.

A century after the passage of the 19th Amendment and one year after the Jan. 6 insurrection that shook American democracy, I have witnessed many women activists working at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights.

Over the course of two months, I spoke to 21 activists, including an Indigenous attorney in Colorado, a grass-roots activist in Georgia and a youth mayor in D.C. Each one of them lent insights; here are their photos and stories.

Arndrea Waters King & Yolanda King

Growing up in Tallahassee, humanitarian Arndrea Waters King, president of the Drum Major Institute, has been a leader in voting rights activism along with her husband, Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Waters King, who believes women have always been “at the forefronts of human rights activism” and the “soul of the country,” hopes to see the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act. “We will continue to stand for the building of democracy until there is federal legislation that expands and protects access to voting,” Waters King said. “My daughter, when she is able to vote, we will give her and her daughter a democracy that is more perfect and protected.”

Waters King is pictured here with her daughter and emerging activist, Yolanda, 13, in their home in Atlanta.

“If you want to see a change, then go vote,” Yolanda said.

Read the full article in The Lily.

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