Experts, Advocates to Discuss Voting Rights, Suppression at LSU Reilly Center Event

September 12, 2023

BATON ROUGE—The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and partners will host the first installment of season seven of the “Racism: Dismantling the System” series. The new episode, “Equity at the Ballot Box: Discriminatory Obstacles to Voting,” will take place Sept. 19, at 3:30 p.m. CT, via Zoom.

Advocates and experts will discuss efforts across the U.S. to curb voting in response to claims of fraud and a stolen presidential election in 2020. Voter suppression and election result subversion measures primarily target racial minorities. Learn about these tactics and how communities are working to shape a more equitable democratic process in the face of efforts to degrade voting rights.

Panelists are as follows:

  • Sara Martin, Moderator, Political Science Master’s Student, Southern University
  • Jarret Luter, Committee Chair, Baton Rouge NAACP Branch Political Action Committee
  • Ashley Shelton, Founder, President and CEO, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
  • Albert Samuels, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography, Southern University
  • Sara Carter, J.D., Equal Justice America Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program

"States all across the country have passed laws that stymie and restrict one’s ability to participate in the most fundamental function of a democracy: voting,” said Baton Rouge NAACP Branch President Michael McClanahan. “The disparities minorities battle highlight the long history of bigotry and discrimination that have, and still are, negatively impacting the lives of racial minorities.”

“Racism: Dismantling the System” is an ongoing series of conversations about structural racism and solution-oriented action toward equal opportunity and justice in our communities. The series amplifies the voices of community advocates, academics, journalists and more working for social justice in our nation and beyond.

The series is hosted in partnership with the Loyola College of Music and Media at Loyola University New Orleans, Southern University and A&M College's Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences, Louisiana Budget Project, NAACP Louisiana State Conference and the LSU Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“Among the many challenges facing our democracy, equal and fair access to voting is high on the list. Restrictive voting policies lock too many voters out of the process, falling hardest on communities of color,” said Carter. “I hope this conversation can shed some light on policy reforms to help ensure that every eligible American exercises their fundamental right to vote.”

The episode will take place on Zoom and will be broadcast live on the Louisiana Budget Project’s Facebook page. Admission is free, but you must register in advance on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom meeting access code. The episodes will also be recorded and uploaded to the Manship School’s YouTube channel. For more information, contact


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics. Follow us on Facebook @ReillyCenter, Twitter @ReillyCenter, Instagram @lsureillycenter and LinkedIn LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/Law degree. Like us on Facebook @ManshipSchool, or follow us on Twitter @ManshipSchool, Instagram @ManshipSchool and LinkedIn LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.

The Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences at Southern University aims to educate students who will matriculate with the spirit of service, superb competence and employability skills needed in a global marketplace. The College is located on the campus of Southern University and A&M College, the flagship of the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) University System in the nation.

The Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) monitors and reports on state public policies and how they affect Louisiana’s low- to moderate-income families. Using research, outreach and advocacy, LBP educates policymakers, the nonprofit community and the public about the economic and racial barriers that Louisianans face each day, and looks for solutions that can create a more widely shared prosperity.

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

The LSU Office of Diversity & Inclusion is a division of the Office of Academic Affairs and provides support, referral and information to students, faculty and staff on issues and concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information, please visit

Loyola’s College of Music and Media serves as the preeminent center of performing and visual arts study among all Jesuit colleges and universities throughout the United States. The College recognizes the historical role of music, visual arts, and communication throughout the world. The School of Communication and Design educates students to become intellectual, ethical, and creative practitioners and leaders in journalism, advertising, design, filmmaking, and public relations. In addition, the School offers a master’s in marketing and communication to better prepare students for dynamic careers with multiple pathways to sustainable success.