We are thrilled to share that Emerge America is growing! We have recently hired two new staff members who will begin working out of a new office in Washington, DC. Allison Abney is joining Emerge America as our Communications Director, bringing years of experience working on a variety of federal, state and local campaigns, and most recently leading the media relations department of IR+Media, a public relations firm specializing in diversity and inclusion PR. A’shanti Gholar is joining us as our new Political Director. A’shanti comes to us from the DNC, where she was the National Deputy Director of Community Engagment and Director of African American Engagement.
As Communications Director for Emerge America, Allison will set and execute the organization’s national communications strategy and promotes staff and state affiliates to the press, public and other message influencers. Having worked in the press and legislative shops of two Democratic congresswomen and served as communications director on the campaigns of several women candidates for local office, Allison understands the unique challenges women face in politics and has developed a deep commitment to seeing more women elected to office at all levels of government. Before joining Emerge America, Allison served as media relations director for IR+Media, a PR firm that specializes in diversity and inclusion. She served as press secretary for the chairman of the DC Council and as the communications lead for several political campaigns and a community development non-profit. Allison also managed all of the press interactions for Small Business Majority, a large, national non-profit organization, handling all media interactions at both at state and national levels, building relationships with reporters, pitching and placing news stories, securing interviews for staff and the CEO and ensuring media coverage of their target issues. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism and holds two masters degrees from the University of Denver in Conflict Resolution and International and Intercultural Communication.
A’shanti F. Gholar currently serves as the Deputy National Director of Community Engagement and Director of African American Engagement for the Democratic National Committee.
Prior to joining the DNC, A’shanti served as the Manager of National Partnerships for United Way Worldwide, the worlds largest non-profit, managing their partnerships to leverage the organization’s work in education, income, and health. From March 2011 to December 2013, A’shanti served as apolitical appointee in the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor where she worked with African Americans, women, small businesses, veterans, and young people around the nation on the many programs, policies, and services that DOL offers to educate and assist the public. In 2012, A’shanti took a leave of absence from the Department of Labor to serve as the Director of Public Engagement for the Democratic National Convention Committee in Charlotte, NC.
A native Nevadan, A’shanti holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Science Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with an emphasis on leadership development and women in leadership.