Gender, Voting and the Voting Rights Act

Highlights from the Community Fund for Women & Girls' Conversation and Briefing Program with guest speaker Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, held on September 27, 2017.

Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean. Photo Kathleen Cei

Thanks to all who joined the Community Fund for Women & Girls Advisory Board and Alumnae for a Conversation and Briefing program with guest speaker, Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean.

Gender & Voting: Don't Wait. You'll Be Too Late

Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, Senior Director for Inclusive Excellence at Quinnipiac University and author, analyst and political commentator, kicked off this inspiring discussion at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven by providing an overview of the past as prologue and stressing the importance of context.

What We Heard

  • There is a difference between voter disenfranchisement and voter suppression. While someone's right to vote may not directly be taken away, seemingly innocuous policies such as demanding a government issued ID from voters results in voter suppression because of the practical difficulty for people to obtain government issued IDs.
  • Waiting to get involved in the 2020 election is too late. In 2018, the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election.
  • It is critical to get involved with the preparation for the 2020 U.S. Census. The results of the 2020 U.S. Census will be used as the basis for redistricting.
  • The U.S. Census counts both residents and citizens so it is critical for trusted community organizations to be involved in the actual counting as well as getting accurate information to their communities.

What We Can Do


  1. Get involved in the 2018 election and the run up to it.
  2. Contact your state elected official and tell that person you want to serve on the Census Commission.
  3. Sign up to receive updates about The U.S. Census.
  4. Sign up to be a U.S. Census counter.
  5. If you work for a community organization, sign your organization up to participate in the U.S. Census count and volunteering to talk about what the U.S. Census is and is not with your community.
  6. Register to vote and encourage others to vote.


  1. 50 Years of The Voting Rights Act
  2. Don't Ignore Black Women: Letter to Tom Perez


  1. Our photo gallery from the event
  2. A recording of the event

More about Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean

Senior Director for Inclusive Excellence, Quinnipiac University

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean serves as the on-air election analyst for WTNH-News 8, and regularly provides political analysis for WNPR, CNN, WURD Radio in Philadelphia and the Washington Post.

Dr. Brown-Dean's work on voting rights was presented during the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama. She is featured in the documentary, The Color of Justice, that documents juvenile justice.

She is President of the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and was recently named one of the 25 most influential women in higher education.