For Immediate Release: connecting across difference, finding shared values key to success in defeating Kentucky’s anti-abortion Amendment 2.

November 8, 2022 [10:31 PM] Louisville, Kentucky – On November 8th, Kentuckians voted to reject the anti-abortion Amendment 2, which would have enshrined a total abortion ban into Kentucky’s constitution. Showing Up for Racial Justice engaged voters, most of whom are white,  in Jefferson, Boyd, Letcher, Daviess, Warren, Hardin, Madison, Estill, Madison, Powell counties as part of a powerful multi-racial coalition across the state with Protect Kentucky Access. Hundreds of SURJ’s members from across the US and leaders on the ground in Jefferson and Boyd counties made more than 110,000 calls into KY and held more than 20,000 conversations with voters – many of which were surprisingly intimate and vulnerable, especially for a so-called “wedge issue.”

Our highly-skilled callers moved a full 25% of people they talked to into the No on 2 position through our “shared stake” model of persuasion, in which our members are trained to connect deeply over the phone and across difference about their experiences and what they stand to gain in protecting access to abortion 

“So many people told us we couldn’t, but like Kansas, we proved that it’s possible in a so-called ‘red state.’ This win shows that working class organizers are an unstoppable force when we put our minds to something, come together across lines of race and class, and have real conversations with Kentuckians that start with care and curiosity and hone in on our shared values.” – Beth Howard, Appalachia Organizing Director, Showing Up for Racial Justice

“There are not enough words to explain how invaluable SURJ’s partnership was during the fight to defeat Amendment 2 in Kentucky. From day 1 SURJ was asking how they could best help and fit into the campaign plan, and when they stepped up to own something — they OWNED it. We wouldn’t have reached nearly the amount of voters we did if it were not for SURJ, whose members made more than 110,000 calls into KY.” – Kelsey Coots, Field Director  Protect Kentucky Access 

“Kentucky is a state that is 86% white. We know to win multi-racial campaigns in Kentucky, we have to have the support of white people, and this win shows that when we engage white people in deep, meaningful ways, they can come with us. We’ve seen that in our work across the country and it’s an example of the kind of good, deep organizing we need at a much broader scale to stop the MAGA right’s attempts at authoritarianism.” – Erin Heaney, Executive Director, Showing Up for Racial Justice
Contact: Grover Wehman-Brown, Deputy Director of Communications, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)  p: (919) 949-2038 | e:

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