Voting Rights, Voter Mobilization and Measuring Power
From his years living in Selma, Alabama, the home of voting rights, up to his recent years with Black Voters Matter, Cliff is an expert in voter mobilization strategies as well as in history of the voting rights movement and current battles around voter suppression. In addition, Cliff discusses concepts about power: how to build it and how to measure it in ways beyond traditional metrics of electoral "wins".
Investing in Black Women and the Role of Black Men in Fighting Patriarchy
Equity, Inclusion and Addressing the Power Dynamic
As Executive Director of Black Voters Matter, Cliff plays a role not only as an organizing strategist, but as a significant funding source for community-based groups fighting for racial justice. As someone who has lived on both sides of the funding table, Cliff is able to speak on the successful approach BVM has taken towards addressing the power dynamic that often exists. Understanding this power dynamic is critical for addressing equity and inclusion in any organizational or corporate culture.
Organizational Leadership in Times of Rapid Change
Although Cliff has been a community activist and racial justice leader for over two decades, Black Voters Matter as a distinct organization is relatively knew. Since the organization helped shock the country in December 2017 until the historic Georgia Senate election in January, the organization has grown from just the two cofounders to over 40 employees, and from no budget to over 21 million. Cliff's academic background (undergrad business and MBA) as well as his experiences as an entrepreneur and nonprofit leader have helped him guide the organization through rapid growth and tumultuous current events.
Youth Activism, Messaging and Listening to Youth
Cliff's social justice activism began when he was an undergrad at Cornell University helping to lead a student protest related to financial aid policies. His activism continued into grad school as he co-led a movement which led to the university's first Latino Living Learning Unit. His personal experience as a campus activist combined with his understanding of youth leadership during the Civil Rights Movement, as well as his current experiences mobilizing young voters, enables him to speak on the power of youth activism. This topic will be of interest to anyone seeking not only to organize young people but to effectively communicate with such a target audience.
The Wealth Gap and the Importance of Housing
Cliff Albright is a 2020 Soros Equality Fellow and co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund (and BVM Capacity Building Institute) which builds community and organizational capacity related to Black voting power. BVM received national attention in 2017 when they helped mobilize Black voters during the U.S. Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Since then, Cliff and the BVM team have traveled throughout thirteen primarily southern states in “The Blackest Bus in America” energizing voters and exposing voter suppression. He and his team recently played a critical role in the 2020 election cycle, including the historic Georgia runoff elections for U.S. Senate.
Cliff serves as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities. Cliff previously lived in historic Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing financial resources to Alabama’s blackbelt region. Cliff attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama. Cliff has contributed articles to and been featured on the following outlets: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Politico and more.