Layshia Clarendon talks importance of Black votes, social justice at Liberty’s Juneteenth event

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More than ever, Black people are understanding the power and importance of their power, their voices and their votes.

On June 19th, a celebratory day honoring the freeing of slaves in the United States, the New York Liberty held a star-studded virtual panel that included a number of notable figures from the realms of sports and entertainment.

The panel was moderated by Angela Yee, who co-hosts The Breakfast Club at Power 105.1. That panel also included one of the Liberty’s latest additions in WNBA veteran Layshia Clarendon.

Your vote does matter, and we need you to participate … I will never not vote because of the people who fought for me to have the right to do so.

–Layshia Clarendon, New York Liberty

Clarendon also wanted to stress that this work WNBA players have been doing as change agents is not only something to do to enhance their brands. When we see a Layshia Clarendon or a Renee Montgomery or a Maya Moore or a Natasha Cloud out in the community pushing for change, it is them being their real selves.

What’s really cool about our league is that it’s authentic to who we are. Every player in our league has some type of passion that they want to speak out about, something that they care about and are doing in their community.

–Layshia Clarendon, New York Liberty

There was also representation on the panel from the Lib brothers in basketball excellence. Garrett Temple of the Brooklyn Nets stressed that real change occurs at the ballot box – and not simply every four years when we vote for the president.

The local elections are the ones that honestly mean the most. When you look back, how many of us can name the District Attorney in our city? The prosecutors carry so much weight based on what they believe … These things matter so much.

–Garrett Temple, Brooklyn Nets

The founder of Ladies of Hope Ministries, Topeka K. Sam, also took part in the panel. One point she made and wanted to get through about the voting issue was how to get more people to vote – and she keyed in on how people may not be able to vote after being incarcerated.

There are so many people who don’t vote because of these myths that you can’t…There are more people who actually can vote, and can get their rights back to vote after returning home from prison than not.

–Topeka K. Sam

Being an artist, Rapsody touched on how important it is for artists to show their presence as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Music from artists such as Trey Songz, Lil Baby and H.E.R. have become Black Lives Matter anthems and prove that Black artists are all about more than just money, clothes and cars as many detractors say.

Music is enough to uplift people. As much pain as we have, we can’t forget the joy.


Yee, of course being the co-host of the country’s signature Black radio show knows all about music. She also knows all about the importance of supporting Black businesses, which there is an abundance of in the New York area.

Sometimes you can do things and not realize the impact it has on people, especially on kids. They think (to themselves) that person looks like me, they come from where I come from, and that means I can get into that position and that space as well … I think it’s so important to support Black owned businesses.

–Angela Yee, The Breakfast Club, Power 105.1

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