Why vote? A conversation with Down Home Fellow Rev. Donna VanHook.


Why are you a Down Home Fellow? What brought you into our work?

Firstly, I was selected to be a fellow presumably due to meeting the criteria. I applied for the fellowship because there are some things about organizing I wanted to learn, like canvassing. This has been a rewarding experience for me. Secondly, it has been wonderful to connect with a dynamic organization of Down Home NC’s caliber, in this way, after attending its events and following its progressive social justice work in Alamance County for several years.

People have different reasons for voting. Why do you go to the polls and vote?

I vote because it makes me feel like I have contributed to the democratic process. However, voting is one tool I can use to have a voice about what could be possible in my community, the state or the nation. The possibility of equity and equality may seem bleak at times yet we must seek fair and just legislation for the betterment of our lives. I encourage people to vote, not by coercion or belittling language rather by making them aware of how they can use their vote to amplify their own voice and add to the collective push for democracy.
Pictured: Our 2022 Down Home Fellows!

The Rev. Donna Vanhook, M.Div, MA NPM, visionary, community organizer, group facilitator, strategist, and connector, is a candidate for the Alamance County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. This Down Home NC Fellow and Princeton BTLI Theological Fellow is an ordained Baptist and UCC minister. The Rev. Vanhook was named Distinguished Alumni Preacher for the Shaw University 41st annual Alexander/Pegues Ministers Conference. Her writings include “Why Black Women Experience Silencing of Their Prophetic Voice in Speaking Truth to Power.” She actively advocates with strong experience in Racial Equity Phases 1,2, and 3 Training, Sojourners/Howard University School of Divinity: Theology and Racialized Policing, and the King Center BE LOVE campaign.