ATLANTA -- Leon Valentine, a public relations major at Clark Atlanta University, was planning to spend Spring Break in Panama City, Fla., with his fraternity brothers.
Haleigh Hoskins, a Spelman freshman from Peoria, opted out of a trip home. Haleigh is on a pre-law tract and expects to be the first in her immediate family to graduate college.
This year, however, Valentine, Hoskins and dozens of other students from Clark and Morehouse and Spelman colleges are skipping the fun in the sun to instead weather the cold in troubled Ferguson, Mo., to register voters in advance of the municipality’s April 7 elections.
The students have volunteered to be part of the Atlanta NAACP’s Voter Registration Alternative Spring Break campaign. They arrive in St. Louis Saturday, March 7, and will be registering voters Sunday, March 8 to Wednesday, March 11, the cutoff for registration to vote in the April elections.
The organization recruited the students and is sponsoring their trip to the St. Louis area as part of its continuing mission and to honor 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
Richard Rose, the newly elected president of the Atlanta branch, said the organization chose voter registration in Ferguson and surrounding cities to show residents and the participating students that voting can result in real change.