Donald Easton-Brooks: I remember my parents talking to me about the right to vote, the right to be a part of the citizens of the United States.
My father passed away about two years ago, so about three years ago we were in Louisiana where he grew up and he was giving me the history of my family, and giving me the history of just the impacts on the life of my family.
My grandfather actually owned land that was given to him and there were whites who wanted the land, and so they would raise taxes, force him not to be able to pay for the land and really, they succeeded, and with succeeding what happened is that it changed the course of my family forever.
So from being a family that had an opportunity to shape their lives, they became a family in poverty.
And so thinking about, you know, voting, and being able to look at voting as an opportunity to keep that inequity from happening, is something critical and important. It really helped me understand that, to this day, if we don't exercise our right to vote, and really change policies, we're all still going to be at the mercy of those with power.
My mother actually was the first of 13 kids to go to college, and so she always pushed to have a better life for myself and my siblings, and she always pushed that we had to take part in our country by voting and by being part of change that will help all of our communities.
And that's why today I do a lot of work that's centered around helping others because that was something that was preached to me because having a black female really guide my life helped me understand the challenges that people face.
By voting, she helped me understand that it's not about bettering my life, it's about bettering the lives of others.