"Many of our members were active and engaged before the Obama campaign started, but hearing the real stories of those who got involved is emotional, inspiring, and sometimes heart-wrenching," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "But what stands out most clearly from the stories comes as no surprise. This year, our members – like other Black Americans from coast to coast – were not only ready for change in Washington—they were ready to stand up and fight for it."
After collecting reactions to the news of Obama's victory, the results were plotted on a Google map, allowing viewers to get an inside look at the election's impact on their next-door neighbors, as well as someone on the other side of the country.
Alongside the emotional reactions to the Obama victory, the Election Stories project also collected key data including whether respondents were first-time voters and if they went to the polls on election day or voted early. In addition, ColorOfChange.org members showed the ways, big and small, they contributed to the campaign – by voting, canvassing, phonebanking, participating in ColorOfChange.org campaigns or simply passing on information to friends.
The contributions were significant:
- 15% of respondents canvassed during the campaign.
- 30% registered voters.
- 42% made a financial contribution.
- 523 said they stood in line for 3 hours on Election Day. Another 86 said they waited for 6 hours or more.
- 4% were first-time voters.
- 33% said they voted early.
"Before the campaign, our members were already standing up and winning real change on issues like criminal justice and voting rights," Rucker added. "Obama's victory only reaffirms the necessity of that grassroots movement for change and the important role Black Americans play within it. When enough of us act together – even in small ways – we can write history. That idea is even bigger than putting a Black man in the White House."