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The Roots partner with Michelle Obama for When We All Vote virtual festival

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The Roots are teaming up with former first lady Michelle Obama for a different type of Roots picnic.

The annual Philly event, which was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will go virtual on June 27 on YouTube in partnership with Mrs. Obama’s nonpartisan nonprofit When We All Vote.

Hosted by Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Black Thought and Mrs. Obama, this year’s picnic will include music sets from The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil BabySZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, and Musiq Soulchild.

There will also be appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis RossJanelle Monáe and others in addition to pre-recorded messages from musicians, athletes and social media influencers.

“As we face one of the most challenging years for our nation, we could all use a moment of inspiration and light to help focus on what we can do to take action together — and that action is voting,” said When We All Vote director of communications Stephanie L. Young in a statement.

“We are committed to closing the age and race gap of those who show up at the ballot box, increasing participation in each and every election,” Young continued. “To change the culture means we have to be in the culture, and iconic events like the The Roots Picnic, a celebration of the most influential artists of today, is just that.”

The goal for the virtual picnic is to engage and reach 500,000 eligible voters with hopes of registering new voters. For more information and to RSVP, visit

You can subscribe to The Roots Official YouTube channel to tune into the broadcast stream.

By Candice Williams
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