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“The only way you can have a say is to vote”

“Tonight, we are here at the Obama HBCU summit to get people registered to vote and get people aware that their vote really matters—and that if they want to have a word in society, the only way that they can have a say is to vote.”

Hundreds of students lined up around the block at North Carolina Central University last night for the latest stop on the Greater Together Student Summit tour. With stops at campuses across the country, the tour is a chance for students to talk with campaign leaders about President Obama’s record and the issues that matter to them. The summits are also a chance for local volunteers to make sure everyone is registered to vote and knows how to get involved with the campaign.

Greater Together Summit Tour: North Carolina Central University–February 21st, 2012

“Education is always one of my major concerns,” said Tanisha, an NCCU student waiting in line. “I always look for a politician or someone who is running for President who has a strong plan for our education in the United States.”

“I’ve had family members who have struggled with receiving health care and health benefits,” her friend Jasmine said. “And myself, being a student, I’ve struggled to make payments to afford to go to college.”

And while folks were waiting to get in, teams of local volunteers were also on hand to make sure everyone who needed to could register to vote right then and there.

Greater Together Summit Tour: North Carolina Central University–February 21st, 2012

“We came out to support [the President] and show why it’s important to vote and get more people to vote,” said Rhoneisha, a student and local volunteer.

Campaign Manager Jim Messina, Democratic strategist Valerie Jarrett, and host Gabrielle Union took questions from students about how to encourage friends who had dropped out of school to come back and get their education, making sure everyone has access to the health care they need, and job prospects for after graduation.

Valerie Jarrett also brought along a message from the President:

“He wanted me to remind you that that every single day he comes to the office with you in mind. Building a country that is sustainable for you, for your children, for your grandchildren.”

After the event, Trinae, a psychology major, was glad she came:

“I really loved this event. It was very uplifting and inspiring, and every campus should have an event like this.”

To see if a Greater Together Student Summit is coming to a campus near you, visit And if you want to get involved in the campaign where you are, sign up to volunteer.

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