Hailing from Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, and California, our 6 new Unstoppable Voters Fellows are mobilizing voters across the country with extraordinary innovation and impact. Read on to learn about them, their organizations, and the incredible things they’ll be doing this year and beyond.
Center for Cultural Power
Avow: Unapologetic Abortion Access
Unstoppable Voters 2023 Fellows
Alejandra G Ramirez is an Artist, Arts Educator, and Arts Administrator from Salinas, CA.
An advocate for arts and cultural equity, she serves as Civic Engagement Manager at the Center for Cultural Power and as the Campaigns Manager at the Cultural Engagement Lab, CCP’s 501c(4) sister advocacy organization.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be one more of your Unstoppable Voters! Excited to create community and deep collaboration with other artists and creatives that are at the heart of social change!– Alejandra G Ramirez, Civic Engagement Program Manager at the Center for Cultural Power
The Center for Cultural Power is a women of color, artist-led organization, inspiring artists and culture makers to imagine a world where power is distributed equitably and where we live in harmony with nature. We support artists through fellowships, training and opportunities for activation. We create intersectional stories and content addressing issues of migration, climate, gender and racial justice. We engage groups in cultural strategy and organize artists in issues that inspire them. Together with allies, we are co-creating a field of cultural strategy with organizations and practitioners through convenings, design teams and strategy tables.
Caroline Duble is a beekeeper, caretaker of dogs and chickens, and a born and raised Houstonian. She has spent the last decade busting abortion stigma, running badass field programs, and advancing progressive causes in Texas. She currently serves as the Political Director at Avow, an unapologetic, bold, and scrappy political advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring abortion access for every Texan, for any reasons they may have. Before that, Caroline spent 5 years at the ACLU of Texas building out their community engagement programs and teams. Caroline seeks to connect Texans’ individual experiences to state and local policy, in order to activate and harness the incredible power that Texans have to make change.
In order to think expansively about voter engagement in a state as oppressive and fascist as Texas, we have to break the mold and try creative tactics that aren’t typically funded or prioritized in voter mobilization work. I’m so excited about the Unstoppable Voters Fellowship because it will help me connect the dots between all of the energy, creativity, ideas, and power that already exist in Texas, and harness it for good.– Caroline Duble, Political and Advocacy Director at Avow: Unapologetic Abortion Advocacy
About Avow — We’re working for a better Texas: where every person is trusted, thriving, and free to pursue the life they want. Across the nation, abortion rights are under siege. Here in Texas, we face anti-abortion government and extremist policies at every level. These policies are rooted in patriarchy and white supremacy, and are backed by national anti-choice groups who don’t represent Texas values. It’s up to us to stop those policies here in Texas, before they are exported to other states across the country. We’re leading this movement and changing the culture with an unapologetic abortion-forward mindset. Through community-building, education, and political advocacy, Avow is securing unrestricted abortion care and reproductive rights for every Texan.
Robin D Turner is an educator, organizer, and humanitarian. In her leadership roles, she exhibits her commitment to racial equity, engaging directly impacted individuals and demonstrating cultural proficiency. Robin’s strategic planning work has a focus on social equity and social justice movements. Robin works locally, statewide, and nationally to empower and mobilize leaders to create the change they want to see.
“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” This is an opportunity for me to be able to lead others, in the efforts of continuing to build democracy in a very creative and sassy way! You never need permission to do good — do good anyways.– Robin D Turner, Civic Engagement Strategist at Cleveland VOTES
Cleveland VOTES is a nonpartisan, democracy-building, and mobilization entity that aims to strengthen civic muscle and power to ensure we have a more informed, participatory, and cohesive community.
The initiative invests in entities working to expand voter registration, accessibility, and participation by integrating the practice of equitable civic engagement through the success and measurable outreach efforts of its partners, collaborators, and grantees.
Co-Founders Erika Anthony and Crystal Bryant created Cleveland VOTES to fill the voter registration void for individuals incarcerated and re-entering society. Partnerships and collaborations initiated by Cleveland VOTES include the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, and national partner Nonprofit Vote.
Sara Mortensen is an organizer from Southern California who approaches all of her work from a place of sincerity, curiosity, and unironic enthusiasm.
Sara earned a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Dance in order to pursue both her passions in science and art. She also has a Masters in International Studies in Media, Power, and Difference.
Sara develops campaigns for Fandom Forward on a variety of issues – from climate change to queer rights to voting campaigns – all in the pursuit of helping the world become a little bit more kind, joyful, and just.
I am beyond excited to work with C4AA, and especially all of the other Fellows, to infuse our voting work with some much-needed joy, enthusiasm, and innovation! Ensuring that everyone has the right and access to vote is so important to me personally, and I’m thrilled to be working with such a wonderful group to make voting possible for everyone.– Sara Mortensen, Campaigns Director at Fandom Forward
Fandom Forward’s mission is to turn fans into heroes. We’re harnessing the power of pop culture to make activism more accessible for everyone.
Fandom Forward is a leader in fan activism, an organizing strategy that draws parallels between beloved pop culture and real world issues of inequity to mobilize fans for social good. We approach our work in three ways: providing accessible training to develop compassionate, skillful leaders, engaging fans in campaign experience that approaches our world’s problems with joy and creativity, and building community.
Mark Kendall is an Atlanta-based comedian. Along with his production partner, Bill Worley, he is the co-founder of CoolCoolCool Productions, where they use comedy to encourage civic engagement. While studying film at Northwestern University, he completed the Comedy Central Chris Rock Summer School Program, where he pitched jokes at “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Mark was named best Professional Funnyman by Creative Loafing in 2015 and was the Readers Pick for Best Comedian in Creative Loafing Atlanta in 2019.
I am excited to be an Unstoppable Voters Fellow for the opportunity to receive training and mentorship to continue to learn how to use comedy and the arts to encourage voting and civic engagement. YEAHH!!!– Mark Kendall, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, CoolCoolCool Productions
About CoolCoolCool Productions — A majority black-owned business based out of Atlanta, Georgia, we pride ourselves in being able to create supremely entertaining content while also addressing important issues. We’ve produced comedic content about everything from voting rights to systemic racism and even a silly take on April Fool’s Day. We serve global leaders in business, social justice, public health, arts, and entertainment.
Anne Basting is a writer, artist, and advocate for the power of creativity to transform our lives. She is Professor of English at UW Milwaukee, where she directs the Center for 21st Century Studies. Basting is Founder of TimeSlips.org, which trains, inspires, and supports caregivers to infuse creativity into care. Her writing and large-scale public performances have helped shape an international movement to extend creative and meaningful expression from childhood, where it is expected, through late life, where it has been too long withheld. Basting’s writing and artistic collaborations have been recognized by several awards, including a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship.
I am eager to meet fellow Fellows and learn with and from them how to inspire and cajole action – to tickle people with story and entice them into civic action. I am eager to help shift the civic dialogue away from anger towards a curious and generous creativity.– Anne Basting, Director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) was founded in 1968 to build a community of scholars to address the pressing issues of our time. The interdisciplinary humanities center is known as a leader in humanities thought and action.
C21 programming emerges from an annual survey of community and university stakeholders, and is designed to offer multiple points of access and honor multiple ways of knowing. This includes a podcast series called 6.5 Minutes With C21; roundtable discussions with emerging, established scholars and community experts; an interactive book club with curricular resources for both formal and informal classrooms; and a participatory, story-based research project. Current programming includes Lonely No More! the making and unmaking of loneliness, isolation and connectedness (2021-22); Nourishing Trust: considering food and land justice (2022-23); and Trust the Vote: balancing skepticism and participation in democracy (2023-24).
C21 supports interdisciplinary knowledge creation through fellowships for individual scholars and seed funding for collaborative projects.
The Center for Artistic Activism’s expansive Unstoppable Voters program supports creatively risk-taking, strategic, ambitious organizations, people, and projects that address urgent and specific anti-voter attacks. We provide training and community building for individuals and groups who are passionate about protecting the freedom to vote and bringing the needed innovation to that fight. We also provide funding and support to help manifest that innovation and bring real, measurable impact. To date, we’ve helped over 80 organizations and 1,000 individuals make voting accessible, safe, joyful, powerful, and irresistible.