ACLU-WV is excited to announce that Dijon Stokes, who previously interned with the organization as a policy fellow, has joined the staff in the newly created role of Voting Rights Project Manager.
In the run up to the 2020 Election, he’ll be providing voter outreach and community education, in addition to organizing an election protection program to ensure that voters can safely be heard at the ballot box. After the election, he will work on legislative proposals to safeguard and expand voting rights.
Get to know more about Dijon:
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born in New York City, where we resided until I was 2 years old. Then my family moved to West Virginia where my grandmother was born and raised. I then grew up in Charleston, WV. I attended Capital High School from which I graduated with high honors in the top 5 percent of my class. From there I attended Howard University majoring in economics and political science. I graduated in May of 2020. At Howard, I really learned how important advocacy and community involvement is. I was involved in many extracurriculars, however the one that impacted me most was the HU Alternative Spring Break Program.
I served as a database manager and most recently the director of operations for the program. It was so impactful because we gave up our spring breaks to volunteer in less fortunate communities based on different initiatives like poverty, mass incarceration, education, and restoration for those areas hit by natural disasters. I myself had the opportunity to serve in Baltimore Md., Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas. Sadly our trip to Charleston and Beckley was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
It was really amazing to get the opportunity to intern at the ACLU of WV because it allowed me to see that there is a way to make a difference in the community around you.
What about the ACLU of WV's mission most resonates with you?
What most resonates with me about the ACLU of WV’s mission is that no matter how large the task may seem, they will challenge the government to uphold the rights of its citizens, it's truly inspiring.
What are you most looking forward to about being Voting Rights Project Manager?
What I’m looking forward to most is the engagement of the issues around voting rights protection with constituents, legislators and my colleagues at the office. I think I grow a lot from various conversations, and I believe everyone that I will get the opportunity to interact with will leave with different and for some, better perspectives on the situation. I know I was once inspired by someone else to learn and to seek more information and I hope to do the same within my role.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to listen to music and read. I used to play basketball and work out, however that’s not as accessible due to the pandemic. I typically listen to a variety of music and I like biographical pieces most for my readings.