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2012 November

08 Nov


November 8, 2012 | By |



Inaugural Jazz Brunch Honoring Champions of Change

||Sunday, January 20, 2013 :: 1:00pm – 3:00pm||


The Marcus Mitchell Project, an award winning jazz ensemble, will fill the air with music while guests network and enjoy catered cuisine at a notable restaurant in the heart of Washington, DC. During the brunch, IMPACT will honor our special invited Champions of Change – individuals selected through a competitive process for their service and dedication to positively impacting individuals and communities throughout the country. As we celebrate the President and the accomplishments of so many who assisted in his re-election, IMPACT believes it is important to recognize the unsung heroes who the work that often goes unnoticed.

With a special lounge for conversation, video capture of your thoughts of the last four years and a social media room, this event is sure to be spectacular. We have a very limited number of tickets available for this event so don’t delay, purchase your tickets today!


Inaugural Events 2013

On Friday, January 18, 2013 from 9 am to noon, IMPACT will be supporting a panel discussion at Howard University titled, “Looking Back, Looking Ahead: The Legacy of President Obama.” The event will be held in the  Blackburn Center Ballroom on campus. The panel is part of a series of University events marking the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.


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06 Nov


06 Nov


IMPACT Releases #VoteReady Report on African American Access to the Polls

November 6, 2012 | By |

Research Highlights Reduced Opportunity for Political Inclusion in 2012 and Beyond

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of Election Day tomorrow, IMPACT releases the report: #VoteReady: African American Voter Access and Reduced Opportunity for Political Involvement 2012 (click here for report) as part of its #VoteReady movement. Specifically, the report analyzes findings from research on voter identification legislation, population growth, and the influence of geography on political participation, focusing on Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. The purpose of the report is to help political organizers and policy makers target politically vulnerable African Americans who face practical voting obstacles due to geography, i.e. reduced opportunity voters (ROVs), and the lack of photo identification (ID) in 2012 and beyond.

“Even in 2012, people of color are still faced with formidable hurdles when it comes to political participation,” said IMPACT Director Angela Rye. “It is our hope that this report highlights the deficiencies in voting access in order to spur the change we so desperately need for parity in the electoral process.”

Voter ID laws are a reality that will impact future elections in states in which they have been enacted. As such, not possessing a photo ID coupled with the lack of access to a DMV office demonstrates how overly cumbersome it is for citizens to be politically involved with voter ID requirements.

Major findings from this study include:

  • Approximately 367,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced based on Florida’s requirement that voters show photo identification or some other form of ID that displays a signature.
  • If Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is enacted for future elections, 115,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced based on the state’s voter ID law.
  • Overall, in Pennsylvania and Florida, there are 482,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced.
  • In Florida, African American voter growth rates rose at almost twice the rate of their White counterparts between the 2000 and the 2004 Presidential election, i.e. 34% to 19%, compared to 2004 to 2008, which was twenty times that of their White counterparts, i.e. 21% to 1%, respectively.
  • Most importantly, there is no clear method to determine the large potential impact on states’ introduction and enactment of voter ID laws. Therefore, IMPACT recommends that states continue to make voting easy, fair, and accessible.

IMPACT launched the #VoteReady movement in August 2012 to help answer three questions:

  • Am I prepared to vote;
  • Am I registered to vote;
  • Where do I cast my vote?

IMPACT’s goal is to prepare, engage, and educate youth and young professionals to ensure American citizens are equipped and prepared to go to the polls tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. As witnessed by this report, #VoteReady will also increase voter education and engagement among those who are disproportionately affected by recently enacted voter identification laws.

IMPACT is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage and build a network of young professionals of color to foster civic engagement, increase knowledge of the political and legislative processes, and enhance economic empowerment opportunities. For additional information about IMPACT, visit , or follow @teamIMPACT.


02 Nov


IL: Paul C. Harris

November 2, 2012 | By |

Congratulations to our November 2012 IMPACT Leader of the Month, Mr. Paul C. Harris. Paul is married to his bride of seven years, Taylor Harris, and the couple has two children, Eliot Mae (23 months) and Christopher Luc (5 months). He is currently an assistant professor in the counselor education program at the University of Virginia. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Virginia, he served as a high school counselor in Newport News, Va. and Loudoun County, Va. While working as a professional school counselor, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in Counselor Education.

Dr. Harris’ professional research interests include issues related to equity, access, and social justice in schools, school counselors’ role in the college and career readiness of students, with an emphasis on Black male student-athletes, and pre-service school counselor training. On a personal note, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, and watching collegiate and professional sports. Go HOOS!

INTERVIEW | Getting to Know Paul C. Harris

  • What inspired you pursue a career in higher education?As a high school counselor for several years, I witnessed first-hand how systemic inequities affected the day-to-day educational experiences of K-12 students. My passion to effect change in this regard surfaced early in my career, and I eventually chose higher education as the avenue to broaden my influence on education as it relates to promoting equity, access, and social justice in schools. As a academician, my research aligns with that passion, and my consultation with schools as well as my training of education leaders in the University setting are reflections of that research.
  • What is the key to balancing your familial, professional, philanthropic and social commitments?Listen to my wife! 🙂 Additionally, understanding what I am called to do and remaining true to that call helps to maintain balance. While much easier said than done, it is definitely necessary if I am to have maximum impact in those areas. My commitment as a husband and father are paramount, then everything else is prioritized.
  • In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake young professionals make?The challenge that young professionals face is succumbing to the cultural trappings of success. Whether money, fame, power, control, or something else, pursuing such as opposed to passionately pursuing one’s purpose is often what delays fulfillment in one’s career.
  • What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in the higher education? Specifically, for other young men of color?I would offer one of my favorite quotes, “The good can become bad when it keeps you from what is best.” Young men of color, in particular, represent a small percentage of the workforce in higher education. To that end, it is critical that one has a grasp of the passion and purpose that brought you to higher ed, and to not be distracted from that. Such distractions are often “good” but not “best” as it relates to what one has been called to do.
  • What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?It’s very hard for me to name the best experience. Collectively, though, it has been the individual families with whom I have worked, either directly or indirectly, that I have seen persist in the face of incredible challenges, overcome those challenges, and then help others do the same.
  • What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?As my faith has been the impetus behind my career endeavors to date, I am currently pursuing seminary education, and I look forward to engaging my passion within and through the church and its ministry more formally.
  • Lastly, give me three words to sum up Paul.Genuine, Passionate, Purpose-driven.

Contact Paul at or on Twitter at @paulharris917.