Cora’s Community Foundation is hosting “The Rollout,” an event that seeks to bring local and state politicians together with their constituents for a night of skating and fun.
“The Roll Out” will be held Tuesday, May 3, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. at Round-A-Bout Skating Center.
“This event is an open invitation to all candidates, no matter their affiliation, to come under one roof and interface with the public. We want people to be able to put a face to the names on the ballot,” said Rakeem “Keem” Jones, Cora’s Community Foundation’s co-founder and executive director.
“The Roll Out” is part of an initiative to engage more voters aged 18 to 35 to register 1000 new voters.
“I want to engage the area where people don’t go. We already know where the voters are, so I want to engage the young dude from Murchison Road who maybe doesn’t know the importance of voting in local elections or voting at all,” Jones told Up & Coming Weekly.
“Now that I know how voting affects us, I want to be a bridge between candidates and the community in a setting not so formal. It’s hard to skate in a suit and tie,” he joked.
There won’t be any speeches on the night of “The Roll Out,” nor any big political ideas or agendas. Candidates will have on nametags and are encouraged to meet and engage in fellowship with potential voters.
“So far, the response from candidates has been great,” Jones stated. Any candidate interested can participate in this event, but they must RSVP by April 22.
“I want people to take away knowledge of the people they’re voting for instead of voting for the sign they see the most. I want people to ask the questions that help them make a more informed decision,” Jones said.
Though Cora’s Community Foundation does not endorse any particular candidate, Jones speaks a great deal about accountability when it comes to politics.
“If you don’t know who you’re voting for, you don’t know who to hold accountable,” he said. “You don’t have to be rude, but you can be informed and push back where it matters. This event is about bringing power back to the people.”
“The Roll Out’s” mission is two-fold. Along with the candidate meet and greet, the event also hopes to bring some awareness to the rising violence in Fayetteville.
Co-founder of Heal the Ville, Demetria Murphy, will attend to spread her message of peace and healing for the city.
Jones, whose sister was murdered in 2019, feels strongly about this message and is always eager to partner with those who seek to uplift the community.
Getting his start in social activism by leading a protest on Scarborough Road in 2020, Jones felt compelled to do more for the city of Fayetteville.
Jones founded Cora’s Community Foundation in 2021 along with his fiance Grace Pelt, Alexis McLaurin and Shea and Christian Mosely.
Cora’s Community Foundation, named after Jones’ late mother, Cora Denise Jones, is a grassroots organization dedicated to addressing systemic inequalities and providing solutions that benefit everyone.
Since forming in May of last year, the Foundation has led or participated in several outreach projects that directly empower, support or celebrate the people of Fayetteville.
Teaming up with big names in the community, such as Grammy-nominated Fayetteville rapper, Morray, celebrity barber Vic Blends, and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, to name a few, Cora’s Foundation has wasted little time in getting to work for its community, serving thousands thus far.
Jones is hopeful that the “The Roll Out” event will be equally beneficial to the community.
“Everyone likes to skate, and everyone likes to eat,” Jones said. “We want people to come out and have a good time, good food and a good vibe. We want people to get to know each other in a family-friendly atmosphere.”
Round-A-Bout Skating Center is located at Eutaw Shopping Center at 880 Elm St.
Candidates must RSVP by April 22 and can do so at 910-709-0826 or email@example.com.
For more information, contact Cora’s Community Foundation at 910-709-0826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.