The Black Women’s Roundtable Presents “Power of the Ballot”

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

The Metro Toledo Black Women’s Roundtable hosted their annual luncheon on Saturday, May 18, at the Metroparks Glass City Pavilion. The signature program featured Keynote Speaker LaVera Scott, director of Lucas County Board of Elections. The theme for the event was “Power of the Ballot – Protecting our Freedoms.”

“We have an annual luncheon to bring black women together and empower black women,” stated Anita Madison, convenor, Metro Toledo Black Women’s Roundtable. “To encourage each other and to talk strategy about some of the things that most impact us in the community.”

The Ohio Coalition on Black Civic Participation, (Ohio Unity Coalition) is a state affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation in Washington DC. OUC is incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in Ohio.

The chief aim is to increase political literacy and civic engagement in Black and under-served communities while building capacity in the member organizations and communities they serve. The variety of voter contact /voter service mechanisms they utilize range from registration, education, mobilization, and protection to issue advocacy around issues specific to black Ohioans. (source:

The local chapter of the organization started in 2019. This is the third luncheon the Metro Toledo BWR has held.

Keynote Speaker LaVera Scott

The welcome & introductions detailing the Purpose of Ohio Unity Coalition and the Black Women’s Roundtable were given by Anita Madison and the invocation by Alisa Key, co-pastor of People’s Missionary Baptist Church.

The program included BWR Youth Reflection by students McKinley Matthews and Chloe Chears who were sponsored by the local organization to attend the national conference; a Spoken Word by Jamele Walker and an Introduction of the Mention Moment by Deborah Barnett.

The Mention Moment was presented by Irene Blue entitled “No more DEl. Now what?” Blue discussed this year’s SCOTUS decision and the implications on minority-based scholarships in area collegiate institutions.

The introduction of the keynote speaker was given by Anita Madison followed by a presentation by keynote speaker LaVera Scott, director, Lucas County Board of Elections. The Call to Action was presented by Barnett and Closing Remarks and door prizes presented by Madison.

Sponsors for the event included the Toledo Community Coalition, Ohio Unity Coalition, The Toledo Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist, N-Sync and Legal Sheild. Food was catered by Tastefully Too.

“The main focus of the Ohio Unity Coalition is to empower black voters and you can’t do that without engaging black voters,” remarked Madison. The group is always interested in volunteers. Those seeking to learn more can visit or their Facebook page.

The next series of events the group will host is ‘Coffee and Conversations’ at various coffee houses throughout the city to talk about pertinent topics throughout the year. The locations and times will be announced.