Jay-Z Convening Social Justice Summit to Drive Democrat Voter Registration Ahead of Midterms

Jay Z, right, and Beyonce, left, stand with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Rap and fashion mogul Jay-Z is convening a social justice summit for activists and fellow celebrities that organizers hope will drive Democratic voter registration ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

Jay-Z’s record label Roc Nation will lead the symposium, which is set to take place in New York on July 23, according to a report from ABC News.

Dania Diaz, Roc Nation’s managing director of philanthropy, told ABC News the team hopes that the summit will boost voter registration for the midterms.

“It is an opportunity for people to really learn about issues that impact their communities — issues that are going to inevitably come up in midterm elections — and hopefully, it’ll drive action,” Diaz said, “at the very least, to get more people connected to what’s happening locally in their communities, but also, you know, getting them to register to vote, first and foremost.”

Among the summit’s areas of focus will be individuals who were shot and killed by police officers, with family members of the deceased invited to attend. Jay-Z has urged investigations into police departments around the country, claiming they have unfairly targeted black people.

Jay-Z has been a close associate of the Obamas for years, campaigning for Barack Obama during his two presidential runs.

President Barack Obama is flanked on stage by musicians Jay-Z, left, and Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The rapper’s summit comes as Michelle Obama is also ramping up voter registration efforts with her own organization, When We All Vote. The group recently stoked fear of racially motivated voter suppression in a new promotion targeting HBCU’s — historically black colleges and universities.

The celebrity-driven When We All Vote launched the campaign in March in an effort to boost young voter turnout in November’s midterm elections. To motivate college students, the former first lady is claiming that voting rights for black people are “under attack.”

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