Florida NAACP to lead 15-city ‘Stay Woke’ tour, voter push
The NAACP announces a bold agenda for the 2021 Legislative Session. Image via Facebook.

The 5-day tour begins in Jacksonville, runs north to Tallahassee, west to Tampa, south to Miami and back along the state’s east coast.

Five progressive groups are planning a 15-city protest next month to mobilize minority members of the electorate and spread word about what not voting in 2024 could mean for their future in the Sunshine State.

Members of the Florida NAACP — which this week issued a travel advisory for Florida in response to laws the group calls “openly hostile” to people of color and LGBTQ individuals — will tour the state June 19-23. The Transformative Justice Coalition, Black Votes Matter, American Federation of Teachers and Rainbow PUSH Coalition will lead the charge alongside them.

The flagship transport in the “rolling protest” will be a 55-passenger U.S. Coachways bus named after late civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Its official title: the “John Lewis ‘Make Good Trouble’ Bus.”

“This rolling protest and votercade is one of many actions to be undertaken in Florida to raise awareness and encourage Black Floridians to stand up and fight back against attacks on our communities, our democracy and our history, by registering to vote and voting every election,” said Adora Obi Nweze, President of the NAACP Florida State Conference of Branches.

Following the 2023 Legislative Session, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed measures defunding diversity programs and stamping out “monocultures” at public universities and colleges, banning so-called “woke banking,” chipping away at teachers unions, shifting hundreds of millions of state funds to charter schools, banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and a passel of new laws targeting LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.

The NAACP’s travel warning joins a similar advisory the Florida Immigration Coalition and LGBTQ rights group Equality Florida issued in April and another that the League of United Latin American Citizens published last week. Those were in response to Florida’s new LGBTQ laws and a sweeping measure the Legislature passed — which DeSantis since signed — clamping down on illegal immigration.

The protests next month are being coordinated by Florida NAACP branches in 15 cities. Participation is expected by many other civil and voting rights groups, labor unions, women’s organizations, advocates for people with disabilities, LGBTQ groups, and student, teacher and librarian associations.

Activities will include marches, voter registration, teach-ins, banned book giveaways, education about new voting laws, press conferences and teacher recognitions.

View the preliminary schedule below.

Monday, June 19 — Jacksonville

— 7-8:15 a.m.: Registration and breakfast welcoming program.

— 9-9:30 a.m.: Juneteenth ‘Stay Woke Florida’ rolling protest kickoff press conference.

— 9:30 a.m.: Votercade to Tallahassee.

— 12:30-2:30 p.m.: Arrival in Tallahassee, followed by a press conference, march, rally, celebration, voter registration and banned book giveaway at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.

— 2:30 p.m.: Departure: Votercade from Tallahassee to Gainesville.

— 5:30 p.m.: Gainesville Juneteenth reception, concert.

Tuesday, June 20 — Gainesville

— 8:30 a.m.: Votercade to Ocala.

— 9:30 a.m.: Arrival at Ocala.

— 10:30 a.m.: Votercade from Ocala to Leesburg.

— 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Arrival at Leesburg, followed by a program and lunch.

— 1-2 p.m.: Votercade from Leesburg to Orlando.

— 2 p.m.: Arrival at Orlando’s Lake Lorna Doone Park.

— 4 p.m.: Votercade from Orlando to Tampa.

— 6:30 p.m.: Tampa program and dinner.

Wednesday, June 21 — Tampa

— 8-9 a.m.: Votercade to Sarasota.

— 9-11 a.m.: Sarasota program, followed by votercade to Fort Myers.

— 12 p.m.: Arrival at Fort Myers, luncheon.

— 2 p.m.: Votercade to Miami.

— 7 p.m.: Miami program and dinner.

Thursday, June 22 — Miami

— 10-11:30 a.m.: Morning program

— 1-2:15 p.m.: Votercade to Fort Lauderdale.

— 2:30-4 p.m.: Fort Lauderdale program.

— 4-5 p.m.: Votercade to West Palm Beach.

— 7 p.m.: West Palm Beach dinner program.

Friday, June 23 — West Palm Beach

— 8-10:45 a.m.: Votercade to Cocoa Beach.

— 10:45 a.m.-2 p.m.: Votercade to Daytona Beach.

— 2:10-3:30 p.m.: Wreath laying in honor of Mary McLeod Bethune, followed by Votercade to St. Augustine.

— 4:30-6 p.m.: St. Augustine program.

— 6-7 p.m.: Votercade to Jacksonville, followed by closing reception and party.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Bill McClure

    May 24, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    I got woke and avoided going broke. You should too.

  • It's Complicated

    May 24, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    The NAACP Warning says:
    “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

    It’s simply not true. There is no community in Florida that is openly hostile to Black or LGBTQ people. This is why NAACP has no credibility. USA Today composed a list of the ‘Top 15 Worse Cities for black Americans,’ and not a single Florida city is on the list. In fact, no city in the Southeast United States is on the list. ALL the cities were in NY, IL, NY, MN, CA, WI, or IA. I wonder if any of them are on a NAACP Warning list?

    • Michael K

      May 25, 2023 at 11:07 pm

      If it’snot true – why so many new laws to harass, erode, and bar peop

      • Michael K

        May 25, 2023 at 11:09 pm

        bar people from being themselves – and banning books, teaching of history, suppressing the vote….

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 24, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    You gotta read that USA Today story. It’s the “Top 15 Worse…” than Florida. That’s why it’s “worse,” meaning relative to something, rather than “worst” which means “THE worst, out of all.” Reading is fundamental, but it’s not Fundamentalist.

    • It's Complicated

      May 25, 2023 at 9:41 am

      Good catch on the USA Today story title. As you said, the 15 WORST cities are relative to all the other cities in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal ran a similar 2023 story featuring the “20 Worst Cities for Black Americans” and it was all the same states – no southern cites, period. Florida cities don’t even earn a ‘dishonorable mention.’

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 24, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    Good evening America,
    Well at least they are only passing out banned books at one stop of the tour.
    Only problem is they are going to try handing them out in a Church.
    I, Earl Pitts American, gurantee the preacher and his Decans and Elders will nip that in the bud.
    There is no way on Gods green earth the church will allow those blasphmious books on church grounds. Books full of sin, fornacation, men laying with men, and all those homertestical life style stories which will lead our precious youngsters to walk through the vally of the shadow of death.
    No way.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Jean

    May 24, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    No thank you. This is all BS and you know It.

  • Mary

    June 6, 2023 at 10:46 am

    I will be there!

  • Liz V

    June 7, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Where is the “meet-up” location for WPB? Not the dinner, but is there a rally location?

Comments are closed.


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