FEMINIST FRIDAY: Joy To The Polls, And The Resistance Revival Chorus Spreading The Love!

Image: Kisha Bari, via Joy To The Polls’ Twitter account

Welcome to a special edition of Feminist Friday – that part of our week where we head into the weekend by gathering around our virtual campfires and water coolers to check out 3 videos we are loving right now, centered around an intersectional feminist theme. This week, capitalizing on the joy, excitement, and momentum from last week’s historic presidential election which saw more votes cast than any other presidential election in US history, and of course the first female, and first woman of color Vice President elected, we decided to share some uplifting videos to make you smile.

First up, a group called Joy To The Polls whose mission is pretty much self explanatory by their title! They are a non partisan movement, started by the nonpartisan group Election Defenders, helping to make voting a celebration and bring joy to the process. They were certainly doing this in the lead up to the November 3 Presidential election and their videos were everywhere on social media, until they finally got the attention of local news and major national cable news outlets like MSNBC.

Before November 3, they also partnered with a number of celebrities and public figures such as America Ferrera, Busy Philipps and Katie Couric to curate Spotify Playlists that users can play on election day. They concentrated specifically on key battleground states like Pennsylvania which certainly proved to be an area in much need of joy considering how vote-counting in this state alone became the target of false statements by Trump who riled up his voters to believe their was election fraud happening (there wasn’t). Election Defenders is a group of volunteers fighting voter harassment and intimidation and part of The Frontline, and what they are doing is really shifting the narrative and vibe around something that is often the cause of stress and anger for many people. Watch them in action being featured on Rachel Maddow’s show, where she interviewed campaign director Nelini Stamp:

The second video is also all about the joy. In case you haven’t yet heard of the Resistance Revival Chorus, it’s time to get familiar. They are a collective of more than 70 women and non-binary singers who came together after the election of Trump in 2016 and have been performing covers and originals as a way to “breathe joy and song into the resistance, and to uplift and center women’s voices”, according to the website. Oh and fun fact: they even teamed up with Joy To The Polls for some live performances during the week of the election!

Chorus members are touring musicians, film and television actors, Broadway performers, solo recording artists, gospel singers, political activists, educators, filmmakers, artists, and more, representing a multitude of identities, professions, creative backgrounds, and activist causes. The RRC centers women in music, and addresses how historically marginalized women have been in the music industry.

Now that you are familiar, we recommend you purchase and download their debut album called ‘This Joy’, from Righteous Babe Records. During the peak of the pandemic in 2020 when a majority of the world was in quarantine, the chorus filmed a pandemic-style video for the title track to their album.

“This song is near and dear to our hearts and our mission. It comes to us through the Black church from gospel music legend Shirley Caesar and we are proud to offer our version at a time when joy and healing are so needed,” says the description of the video, which you can watch below.

One of the other songs on the album is a cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘All You Fascists Bound To Lose’, which they performed in front of Trump Tower in the lead up to the November 3 election. It was s fitting omen of what was to come, as well as a reminder of how people will rise up to defeat hate by spreading love and joy. Joy is an act of resistance!

The final video this week is a call to action for girls, especially girls of color, to know they their voices matter. Giving a nod to Kamala Harris having to constantly remind Mike Pence “I’m speaking!” at the VP debate back on October 7 when he kept interrupting her, this montage of young women and girls standing in their power stance to tell the world that they are here and they are speaking.

Commissioned by a social impact organization that uses innovative strategies and campaigns to inspire civic engagement called The League, it was created in conjunction with Ultra Violet and a team of Chicago producers and filmmakers: Dana Michelle Cook, Dana Bontemps, Stacey Nuzbach, Taylor Glascock, Jessica Grossnickle, and Rudy Rubio.

“Today and every day, we remind every girl and young woman that your voice matters. You cannot be silenced. #ImSpeaking #wewillbeheard” writes Dana Michelle Cook about the short film. Watch below, be inspired, and share with all the future female leaders in your life:

Comments are closed.