'We've got to teach our young people:' North Carolina nurse takes stage at DNC, encourages Black women to vote

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
North Carolina nurse takes stage at DNC, encourage Black women to vote
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North Carolina nurse takes stage at DNC, encourage Black women to vote

By now it's well apparent that the 2020 Democratic National Convention is unconventional.

Still, while the start to Monday's program might've startled viewers, Michelle Obama's powerful plea certainly left an impression across North Carolina and the country.

"It's one of those things that even though I wasn't there physically, my heart and soul was into it," Nervahna Crew, a Raleigh resident and North Carolina delegate to the convention, said. "Michelle Obama's speech last night totally inspired me and I'm glad they set the tone for how conventions should be with her going first."

Crew signed into Day 2 of the convention with a plethora of programs and webinars on the schedule. For Crew, this seventh convention she's attending is obviously quite different to be attending from home.

"We're still doing voter outreach, we're still trying to engage democrats to be in the fold," she said. "We're doing what we can on social media to say again, even though it's not your ordinary convention, it's not your ordinary atmosphere around voting, you still have a part to play in all of this."

Tuesday night's prime time lineup features President Bill Clinton and Dr. Jill Biden, the woman who could be the next First Lady. The evening will also be the official nomination of Joe Biden which will follow a "Roll Call Across America."

Cozzie Watkins, a nurse working on the front lines against COVID-19, represented North Carolina on national TV and pledged North Carolina's delegates to Biden.

"I have to be honest. When they called me, I thought they had made a mistake," Watkins said. "Who gets asked to do this and represent the whole entire state?"

Witkins, 69, is using her time on the roll call to galvanize Black women to vote.

"We've got to teach our young people the power in this vote and African American women," she said. "When a Black woman turns out to vote - Democrats win. Each generation has to teach. Each one has to teach one. You can't just expect everyone to learn just by watching someone else. You have to be intentional to explain the civics and power of the vote."

During night two of the convention, Watkins pledged the North Carolina delegates that secured the Democratic nomination for Joe Biden.

"Black people especially Black women are the backbone of this party and if we don't show up, Democrats don't get elected," said Watkins.