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Voting While Black: The Fight for Voting Rights and the Future of the Movement

The Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Hofstra Law, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Freedman Social Justice Fellows present

Voting While Black: The Fight for Voting Rights and the Future of the Movement

Wednesday, February 24 | 12:10-1:30 p.m.  |  Held Via Zoom  

The 2020 Presidential Election broke records for voter turnout. Black voters, particularly Black women, were a collective powerhouse in the electorate. Over the years, Black civil rights trailblazers and suffragists helped Black voters become the critical voice for democracy that they are today. Carrying on the fight for voting rights is essential to a well-functioning democracy for all.

Join Dr. Rosanna Perotti and Town of Hempstead Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby for an important conversation on the history of voting rights, the involvement of Black women in the press for the vote, and the message for the future of the voting rights movement.


Deandra Denton, is a first-year student at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and is a Freedman Social Justice Fellow and member of the Black Law Students Association, Tax Lax Society, and Hofstra Law Women. Deandra is dedicated to bolstering civic engagement and is co-founder of the online civic engagement resource Collaborative Community Long Island. She is an alumna of Hofstra University and has a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Sociology and Public Policy. 


Rosanna Perotti, Ph.D., is an associate professor of political science at Hofstra University and director of the Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP). She teaches courses on voting, public opinion, Women in American Politics, and US Immigration Policy. She has worked with the League of Women Voters to organize public education and candidate forums at Hofstra, and with Hofstra Votes to mobilize students to register their peers to vote and obtain absentee ballots. She has written and authored publications dealing with the US presidency and US immigration policy.

Dorothy L. Goosby, Town of Hempstead Senior Councilwoman
, was elected to the Town Board on November 2, 1999 and was one of the first Democrats elected since 1905. She is the first African American woman on the Town Board and as of January 2016 serves as Senior Councilwoman.

In 1988, Dorothy L. Goosby, et. al., filed a class action suit against the Town of Hempstead charging that the Town’s at large voting system for the Town Board discriminated against the minority community. In 1997, a federal judge agreed and ruled that the Town of Hempstead’s method of voting-at-large was discriminatory and violated the Voting Rights Act. In January 2000, the United States Supreme Court denied review of the Town of Hempstead’s appeals. U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson then ordered that a special election be held for all seats in November 2000.

While Councilwoman Goosby’s accomplishments are noteworthy, she is most recognized for her on-going community efforts in Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead. She has initiated community meetings and Town Board evening meetings that provide access and opportunity for more residents to participate in government than ever before. She has intervened in areas that have resulted in a better life for many. It is her belief that her election by the people is a mandate to provide equitable representation to all of the residents and that she has a responsibility to make a difference when it is possible and where it is needed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021



Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549


Deandra Denton

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