LAS VEGAS, NV (September 18, 2018)—Throughout the entirety of her professional career, which has taken her from Chicago to New York to Seattle and now to Las Vegas, Aces center Carolyn Swords has made giving back to the community a priority. Whether she is inspiring a group of Girl Scouts or serving meals for those less fortunate at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, the July 2016 recipient of the WNBA Cares Community Assist award recognizes that basketball has granted her an incredible platform to create positive change in her adopted homes.
With mid-term elections coming up this November, it is no surprise that Swords has turned her attention to throwing her considerable clout and energies behind a variety of voter registration and voter education causes. This is, after all, the person who famously had two members of the Aces register to vote during the myriad of travel delays the team endured on its trip to Washington in early August.
“My family and I have always been very engaged in current events,” explained Swords. “I have siblings who work in Washington D.C. on the hill, and political discussions were the norm at our dinner table.
“Over the past several years I became more and more aware of the frustrations that some people have with our political process, in particular the difficulties many people face simply trying to be a part of that process. The word ‘democracy’ actually translates to ‘rule of the people,’ and if we aren’t actively encouraging people to take part and giving them the tools they need to participate, then we aren’t living up to our ideals.”
Swords’ voter registration work this fall actually began well before the season ended, as she contacted a number of local and national groups including “Rock The Vote,” “The League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada,” “When We All Vote” and MGM Resorts International’s own “Rev Up” campaign, brainstorming ways that she and her fellow WNBA players could be of assistance.
Currently on Swords schedule is a Thursday, September 20 video shoot for MGM’s voter registration campaign, which will encourage MGM employees to register and vote in this year’s mid-term elections.
She is also volunteering this weekend at a series of “When We All Vote” events, registering voters at Exploration Peak Park, and is teaching a Democracy Class to local Las Vegas schools in late September.
On a league-wide level, Swords is reaching out to her teammates to make sure they are all registered, and educating other WNBA players about how to vote while they are overseas. Those WNBA players who aren’t heading overseas until later in the year will soon receive an Athlete Tool Kit they can use to register people to vote in their communities, and WNBA teams have been enlisted to post test-to-code gifs on social media encouraging their fans to register.
If you would like more information on how to vote, please visit the How To Vote section of usa.gov.