Activists launch voter registration drive at 'Black Panther' screenings

The Movement for Black Lives has channeled the energy and excitement surrounding the opening weekend of Marvel’s “Black Panther” into a voting registration campaign.

The movement’s Electoral Justice Project is organizing the #WakandaTheVote initiative that encourages moviegoers to register to vote at “Black Panther” screenings across the country. Participants host their own events, dressing up in “Wakanda-inspired outfits,” as they recruit potential voters. 

“The Movement for Black Lives is an ecosystem of black leaders and organizations fighting every single day for the healthy and happy lives of Black folks,” activists Jessica Byrd and Kayla Reed told Blavity in an interview. “We are effective because we meet our communities where they are, whether that’s in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater.”

“This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda,” they continued, noting the importance of meeting constituents in their communities. “We know that for some it’s a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it!”

RELATED: Inside the premiere 

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'Black Panther' world premiere: Red carpet arrivals
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'Black Panther' world premiere: Red carpet arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Danai Gurira (C) and 'The Dora Milaje' actors at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actress Angela Bassett arrves for the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' held at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Lupita Nyong'o attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Lupita Nyong'o attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Janelle Monae attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actress Danai Gurira arrives for the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' held at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Danai Gurira attends the Los Angeles Premiere 'Black Panther' at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Chadwick Boseman arrives for the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' held at the Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Michael B Jordan attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Yara Shahidi attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey, wearing Dena Kemp jewelry and LimeCrime lip gloss in Bloodmoon and Eclipse, attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther.'
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Issa Rae attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' on January 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Forest Whitaker attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' on January 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Mellody Hobson and George Lucas attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' on January 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Martin Freeman attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Meagan Good attends the Los Angeles Premiere 'Black Panther' at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Daniel Kaluuya arrves for the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' held at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: David Hasselhoff and Hayley Roberts attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Ryan Michelle Bathe, Sterling K. Brown and son Andrew Brown attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Nathan Anderson and Anthony Anderson attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Amber Riley attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Tessa Thompson attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Nabiyah Be attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Miles Brown attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Marija Abney attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Aisha Dee attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Allegra Acosta attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Jessica Oyelowo and David Oyelowo attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Angel Parker attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Kayla Maisonet attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Ty Simpkins attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Shaunette Renee Wilson attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Kylee Russell attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Seth Carr attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Pom Klementieff attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Meg Donnelly attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Chloe Bennet attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Storm Reid attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Sean Gunn and Natasha Halevi attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Florence Kasumba attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Olivia Holt attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Natalia Cordova-Buckley attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Marsai Martin attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Tanika Ray attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good attend the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Allison Holker attends the Los Angeles Premiere 'Black Panther' at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: J. August Richards attends the Los Angeles Premiere 'Black Panther' at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Garcelle Beauvais attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Black Panther' on January 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Cobie Smulders attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Byrd, Reed and Rukia Lumumba founded the initiative last October to raise awareness about the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. Reed, a St. Louis-based organizer, is co-leader of the EJP alongside longtime political strategist Byrd, who has over a decade’s worth of experience working for marginalized communities. Lumumba, who advises the EJP, helped manage the mayoral campaign for the current mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, her brother.

The campaign has already inspired registration drives in over 50 cities.

“This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice,” Byrd and Reed said.

People who are interested in hosting their own voter registration drive can text PANTHER to 91990. Interested in registering to vote? Text WAKANDA to 91990.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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