Northern Virginia
Urban League
1315 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-836-2858
Fax: 703-836-8948

Civic Engagement

NOVA Coalition

    Founded in August 2008, the NOVA Coalition is a non-partisan effort created through a grant awarded by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) to register, educate and empower voters in Northern Virginia, and to promote policies of interest to the African-American community. The NOVA Coalition is a collaborative of 30+ civic organizations led by the Northern Virginia Urban League and the Virginia Leadership Institute. During its founding year, the NOVA Coalition registered and empowered nearly 2000 votes for the 2008 election cycle and it has continued to successfully lead voter education and empowerment efforts in Northern Virginia.


    In 2012, the NOVA Coalition is convening “NOVA Votes 2012: Educating and Encouraging the Black Vote,” a voter registration and empowerment campaign geared to ensure that African-Americans in Northern Virginia are educated, registered and empowered to participate in the November 2012 elections.

    As a nonpartisan education and awareness effort, NOVA Votes 2012 uses social media, door-to-door canvassing and phone banking to:

    • Register voters
    • Educate residents on voter ID bills recently passed by the Virginia General Assembly that will impact voting in 2012
    • Promote African-American leadership within elected offices


    2011 Get out the Vote
    In the fall of 2011, powered by a grant from the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, the NOVA Coalition made over 6000 voter contacts through phone banking and door to door canvassing.

    2010 Census Hard To Count Communities
    The NOVA Coalition worked closely with several northern Virginia local governments and the U.S. Census Bureau to increase the number of people who participated in the 2010 Census, particularly those hard to count communities. The Coalition held forums, set up tables in the community, and held a Census rally with over 200 attendees. The City of Alexandria had over 70% of its residents participate in the 2010 Census.

    2010 Get out the Vote for the Midterm Elections “Trick or Vote”
    In the fall of 2010, the NOVA Coalition mobilized close to 100 volunteers to make approximately 4000 voter contacts through calls, pledge cards, and door to door canvassing in partnership with Trick or Vote. The Coalition also launched its first public service announcement encouraging our community to vote. In this time of high unemployment rates, record numbers of uninsured, and persistent minority achievement gaps, the NOVA Coalition’s participation in the 2010 mid-term election cycle was critical to ensure Northern Virginia’s voice was heard concerning the direction of our country.

    2009 – present Restore the Vote
    The NOVA Coalition actively engages in restoring voting rights for formerly convicted persons in Virginia. Virginia and Kentucky are the only two states in which voting rights are not restored after completing one’s sentence, unless formerly convicted persons go through an onerous process through the governor. There are 300,000 disenfranchised in Virginia, and African-American men are disproportionately affected. On June 11, 2009 the NOVA Coalition hosted a community forum on voter restoration featuring Adisa Muse, ACLU; Delegate Charniele Herring (VA-46th); Doug Syphax (formerly convicted person); and moderated by Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. On December 26, 2009, Lavern Chatman-Brown, then president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, wrote a letter on the importance of restoring voting rights in the Washington Post. In May 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that formerly convicted persons of non-violent felonies would have to wait for two years, instead of three, to have their rights restored. The Coalition continues to partner with organizations across the commonwealth to educate advocates and empower former felons on this issue.


    2008 Get out the Vote Activities
    In 2008, NOVA Coalition carried out multiple voter registration drives throughout the target community, partnering with grocery stores, shopping malls, community fairs, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, and the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, DC among others. The NOVA Coalition also canvassed in the target communities, specifically Prince William County, and partnered with WKYS radio station to hold a successful voter registration drive. In partnership with the National Urban League, NOVA Coalition held a Voter Empowerment Rally with more than 600 attendees featuring National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial and cast members from the popular HBO series “The Wire.” The NOVA Coalition was also very active throughout the community on election day, appearing on urban radio stations, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer for our Video the Vote efforts, and ABC Australia. In addition to voter registration, the NOVA Coalition, under the NCBCP leadership, received signatures on over 900 pledge cards with a commitment to voter education and a pledge to VOTE.


    NOVA Coalition Partner Organizations

    • Northern Virginia Urban League
    • Virginia Leadership Institute
    • Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
      • Lambda Kappa Omega, Fairfax County
      • Omicron Chi Omega, Woodbridge
      • Zeta Chi Omega, Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax County
    • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
      • Xi Alpha Lambda, Prince William County/Southern Fairfax County
      • Zeta Upsilon Lambda, Fairfax County
    • Bethlehem Baptist Church, Alexandria
    • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
      • Fairfax County Alumnae, Reston/Herndon/Western Fairfax County
      • Loudoun County Alumnae
      • Northern Virginia Alumnae, Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax County
      • Prince William County Alumnae
    • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
      • Alexandria-Fairfax Alumni
      • Woodbridge Alumni
    • Macedonia Baptist Church, Arlington
    • Mount Olive Baptist Church. Arlington
    • Mount Zion Baptist Church, Arlington
    • National Council of Negro Women, Northern Virginia Section
    • National Pan-Hellenic Council of Northern Virginia
    • NAACP Alexandria Branch
    • Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
    • Northern Virginia Continentals
    • Northern Virginia Pan-Hellenic Council
    • Northern Virginia Urban League Guild
    • Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network
    • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Psi Alpha Alpha/Fairfax County
    • Russell Temple CME Church, Alexandria
    • Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Beta Nu Boulè
    • Shiloh Baptist Church, Alexandria
    • Top Ladies of Distinction of Alexandria
    • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
      • Nu Xi Zeta, Alexandria
      • Omicron Theta Zeta, Fairfax County
      • Phi Upsilon Zeta, Loudoun County

    To Join or Renew Your Membership
    Annual membership dues of $100 can be made payable to The Northern Virginia Urban League, 1315 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. If your organization would like to join the coalition, please contact Monica Reid at


Back to top

Northern Virginia Urban League