For release: October 1, 2012
For press information, contact Julie Graves, 901-678-4654
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis will
sponsor a student voter registration drive at the U of Mon Wednesday, Oct. 3, to engage
new voters before the Novemberelection. Registration will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
at tables set up at the Central Avenue crosswalk, at the corner of Patterson and Walker
and at Patterson and Central, on the Student Plaza near the fountain, and in the atrium of the University Center.
The deadline to register to vote is October 8.
One month into the school year, Hooks Institute Local Advisory Board member and recent
U of M Class of 2011 graduate Cortney Richardson has mobilized student organizations
at the University to set up tables across the campus to register student voters. With this first-time
one-day drive, the Hooks Institute plans to register 1,000 voters, to prove that students
care about important issues on the ballot and are determined to vote this election
According to a Gallup survey released in July, only 58 percent of young voters across
the country say they are “definitely likely to vote” in this fall’s general election.
Numerous media reports say enthusiasm is down among young voters, especially when
compared to the excitement that was so evident among 18-to-29-year-olds in the 2008
election. An added goal of the U of M event is to engage student groups so they feel
more connected to the Hooks Institute even after the registration drive.
“Voting is one of the most important civic responsibilities an individual can exercise
in shaping affairs of our nation,” said Julie Graves, assistant director of the Hooks
Institute. “We are excited about this initiative, and we applaud Mr. Richardson’s
determination and energy to make it happen.”
In 1996, University of Memphis officials received approval from the Tennessee Board
of Regents to create the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change in the College
of Arts & Sciences. The mission of the Institute is teaching, studying and promoting
civil rights and social change. The Hooks Institute archives include Hooks’ personal
papers, which are housed in the Mississippi Valley Collection in the University’s