Breakthru Beverage Group and Black Girls Vote: A Community Partnership

Mar. 7, 2023

At Breakthru, we always strive to champion diversity and to give back through relevant community organizations. We are honored to have joined forces with an organization devoted to creating impactful change in the Black community: Black Girls Vote.


Based in Maryland, Black Girls Vote is a 501c3 organization advocating for Black women and girls to learn more about policy, voting rights, their respective elected officials and even pursuing careers in politics.


Breakthru Beverage Group has always taken pride in working with impactful organizations but after civil unrest came to a head in 2020, we wanted to make sure we were doing more, and as a result, our partnership with Black Girls Vote was born. We are proud to support the mission of Black Girls Vote through our partnership, which includes weekly calls with the organization to discuss critical topics in a safe space, and last November, we were honored to stand with them at their hallmark event, the Black Girls Vote Gala.


“My experience working with Black Girls Vote has been life changing for me,” said Endia Brown, Trade Marketing Manager, United Division, Breakthru Maryland. “We’ve worked closely with Nykidra Robinson, Tenne Thrower, and Natasha Murphy from Black Girls Vote. The amount of work that the ladies are doing in our communities is profound! Black Girls Vote has a powerful voice in the African American community in voting rights, advancing education, equity in healthcare, and economic empowerment.”


In addition to making voting rights more fun and accessible, the women of Black Girls Vote also make it their mission to educate people and corporations about being allies to community organizations that focus primarily on helping one disenfranchised group of people.


“This Black Girls Vote and Breakthru partnership has been the most gratifying and fulfilling experience of my 30-year-career in this industry,” said Anna-Chris Lee, Trade Development Director, Breakthru Maryland. “This organization is changing lives and I am honored and humbled to be a part of this.”


Lee’s inspirational moment was just the beginning of Black Girls Vote’s impact on our broader organization.


“As an ally member of V.I.B.E. (Voices Invested in Black Equity & Empowerment Associate Resource Group), it is my responsibility to better understand and help overcome challenges faced in the Black community,” said Stu Weisshaar, Senior Vice President, Sales, Breakthru Maryland and Washington D.C., United Division. “Actively supporting the Black Girls Vote mission of educating and empowering Black women to address key issues has been both enlightening and truly inspirational. I’m very excited about the potential to grow this partnership in as many markets as possible.”


“The partnership that Breakthru has with Black Girls Vote created a new platform for them to reach a broader audience,” Brown said. “The partnership also created a spotlight on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Breakthru. The events that Black Girls Vote holds provides in-person and social media exposure for Breakthru Beverage brands. With our brands supporting their events, it creates having an outreach to different communities for brand education and has allowed Breakthru to create spaces for possible new accounts at these events.”


We were honored to get to spend some time with three leaders from Black Girls Vote, Nykidra Robinson, Founder and CEO, Natasha Murphy, Chief of Staff, and Tenne Thrower, Community Engagement Consultant, to learn more about the impacts of how their incredible organization is promoting strong civic participation to establish a more equitable society.


What is Black Girls Vote? What resources and knowledge can people expect to gain by working with or joining Black Girls Vote?

Nykidra Robinson: Black Girls Vote is grassroots, nonpartisan organization created to represent the national and international concerns of women of color. We are here not only to explain laws, policy and voting rights, but we also want people to become less intimidated by these things as well. We try to make these subjects approachable and even fun. When attending Black Girls Vote events or referring to our resources we want to make sure people understand policy and legislation, know important dates of voting, register to vote and more. We want to make sure people have fun and are less intimidated, but we want people to feel like they are walking away informed enough to advocate for themselves when voting or making other decisions about policy. We also are looking to educate more girls and women about pursuing careers in politics.


What types of events and efforts has Black Girls Vote organized?

NR: We are really into non-traditional education. Things with high energy and things that are a vibe are what we strive for. We don’t like doing anything boring or ordinary. We’ve had voting drives at the Beyonce concerts in the Ravens Stadium registering people to vote while having fun. We’ve done cafeteria takeovers at college campuses and high schools. Once we took over 20 schools in one day. We’ve hosted Judges round tables at Black owned restaurants, virtual Mayoral events during Covid and so much more.


How does having a partnership with organizations like Breakthru Beverage Group help Black Girls Vote?

Natasha Murphy: It is exciting to have a true partnership instead of just a regular transactional sponsorship. With a true partnership we get to expand in an industry that Black people aren’t really in. With our weekly calls with Breakthru we get to learn a lot about the spirits industry and have our girls from our collegiate chapters learn how they can aspire to be in this career that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. We learn a lot on the calls, too! With a sponsorship, it’s just money towards one or two events but having weekly calls, having associates come out to our events and things of that nature shows that the mission of getting Black women equal voting rights is a cause worthy of continuous support and our events partner with luxury brands. 


Tenne Thrower: The Breakthru family is our family. We have a real partnership with them, not just a sponsorship. It’s nice to be able to call them family. It feels good to have such luxury brands supporting our events like our Ladies in Politics series during Women’s History Month where we celebrate women all over the country by sending them a box of luxury goodies. We bring in a virtual DJ, do a panel with Moët Hennessy and just honor all the organizations and people making a change for Black women. People being able to see that a huge corporation like Breakthru can ally with us opens the doors for other corporations to want to do the same.


What type of staff and help does it take to run and organize this type of organization?

TT: You really need a lot of volunteers willing to be helpful and use their areas of expertise for the cause. I volunteer with Special Projects & Events. I started with volunteering and outreach. I do community engagement, event planning, strategic partnerships, and I work in education, so I’m well versed in working with schools, hospitals, and other community types of entities.


NR: The words I’d use to describe an ideal person working with this organization are passionate and dedicated. People who volunteer their time and their skills means they have a passion. I also love the sisterhood that comes with BGV. People don’t know everything but bringing their skills to something and being dedicated and wanting a sisterhood makes for good personnel. We often say, “The time is now,” to bring those skills together and passionate people dedicated to sisterhood, community and change are the best types of people to belong to our organization and who keep it going.


What are some of the common misconceptions people have when they hear about Black Girls Vote?

NM: People always think you must be in college or be an entrepreneur to be involved with an organization like this that promotes education, but our saying is it doesn’t matter if you have a GED or a PhD. We also get a lot of support from men who help us behind the scenes and lean in to help us accomplish things so just because we are focusing on alleviating the plights Black women go through doesn’t mean we don’t get support from or work with all types of people. Our resources about voting and policy are also for any people who need to learn about these things not just Black women.


NR: We often get asked “Why is it Black Girls Vote?” People think they can’t support or can’t join but we get a lot of monies from allies who understand that we are at the forefront of voting so it makes sense that we should get more policy and representation to reflect that. We have different issues than our peers, we have higher mortality rates in healthcare, we have higher student loan debt, we’re more likely to start businesses yet we don’t get loans and a plethora of other issues so it’s important to specifically vote to impact policy that will actually help our community to make those specific changes for us. Also, men think they can’t be involved just because our focus is helping women—that isn’t true. Sometimes as women we are so focused on helping everyone, we forget about ourselves which ultimately doesn’t do much for anyone. When I’m 15 years into this I can maybe branch off, but I think staying focused on this for such a long time is something that will produce better results instead of trying to focus on so many other things and other people at one time. Our focus is Black women and policy. Our allies, peers, colleagues and constituents understand this and aren’t offended because helping some of us, helps all of us.


What are some of the things you’re proudest of achieving with Black Girls Vote?

NR: We have an annual gala called the Black Girls Vote Ball. We’ve been hosting it for five years and it is now definitely the largest gala in Maryland. The fact it’s run by a team of Black women is such a big deal and huge honor. We’ve had locally elected officials there as well as people telecomming in like Joy Reed, Queen Latifah, Staci Abrams, Maxine Waters and so many more.


When I started all this, I lost my job. I looked at my bank account and I couldn’t even pay my rent, but I took a chance and to see it evolve so much in five years, to wake up to tons of alerts on our social media because the Governor of Maryland was speaking about us by name, to have the President of Hennessy Laurent Boillot coming over from France wanting to speak with me, asking me about how he can be better about helping the Black community and about how Hennessy can work with our organization—it’s just been amazing. Laurent also invited me to actually come to France as well and I can’t wait to share that experience with our followers to show the impact and reach you can have by staying true to your cause to make change. All of this is happening because we built a brand and a name for ourselves and we’re only going to continue to grow.


What future goals and impact does Black Girls Vote hope to establish in the future? What impact does Black Girls Vote aim to add to Black history?

NR: We want to be international and have city chapters, more college chapters and to have more of an impact in high schools because advocacy should start early. We’d also love an internship for Black girls who want to get into Politics. Our ultimate goal is for when people have questions about voting someone just says, “Oh just look it up on Black Girls Vote.”


Black Girls Votes aims to spread the message that helping different communities to overcome their specific plights isn’t divisive. By honoring our differences whether it be by celebrating Black History Month or allying with organizations like Black Girls Vote, companies like Breakthru showcase it is possible to make profits, uplift a community and create impactful opportunities and partnerships by all coming together to invoke change.


To learn more about Black Girls Vote, visit them at