Emerge Announces Advanced Leadership Program for Black Women

  • Feb 14, 2022
  • Emerge Staff

Emerge Announces Advanced Leadership Program for Black Women

Washington, D.C. – Today, Emerge, the nation’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced Seated Together, an advanced candidate program specifically for Black women who aspire to run for higher office. Seated Together is focused specifically on the unique challenges Black women face as they seek to deepen their impact and move up the political pipeline. Seated Together brings Black women elected officials together to make them better leaders by convening them together to strategize, build, and support each other as they pursue a run for higher office. Through training and coaching, participants will build a network and learn the skills they need to run for higher office – and win. 

“Seated Together is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Black women leaders who want to take their leadership to the next level,” said A’shanti F. Gholar, President of Emerge. “Black women have historically faced extra barriers when trying to run for office or ascend to the next level, so a program like this is sorely needed to give them the tools and skills to overcome these obstacles. We’re excited to work with this first class of amazing Black women and look forward to seeing what they will do in the future.”

The program originally came about when Colorado State Rep. Leslie Herod saw the need for training and support to help Black women to become stronger public servants. She then turned to Ohio State Rep. and Former House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes for help. Together, they brought Black women together from all over the U.S. and collaborated with Emerge to access the organization’s training and network. The program includes media training, strategic planning, and a network of support where Black women can learn and share best practices as they pursue higher office. The inaugural cohort has women state legislators from across the country who are leading in their communities to further their skills and help them move up the political pipeline.

  • State Rep. Janelle Bynum, OR 
  • State Rep. Leslie Herod & Chair of Black Caucus, CO
  • State Senator Dallas Harris, NV
  • State Rep. London Lamar, TN
  • State Rep. Joanna McClinton & House Democratic Leader, PA
  • State Rep. Emilia Sykes & Former House Democratic Leader, OH

“I am so excited about this partnership as Seated Together is bringing Black women leaders from across the country together to level up our skills and lean on each other as we seek to deepen our contributions in public office,” said CO State Rep. Leslie Herod. “By giving us the tools and support we need to rise, we will strengthen our impact on decision-making bodies and change the face of politics long into the future.” 

“This program is really the culmination of what we have been hearing from Black women for years about the need for additional support and training to help them advance in public service,” said Ohio State Rep. and Former House Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes. “I recently announced that I am running for Congress this year in Ohio’s 13th District. So this program and the support it will provide comes at exactly the right time.”

This program is announced as Emerge continues its work towards achieving its 2035 goals. The organization is committed to reaching 100,000 women of the New American Majority, fostering a culture of lift as you climb and repowering political structures. 

Emerge currently has more than 1,000 alums in elected office across the country, and has trained more than 5,000 Democratic women to run for office. There are currently 27 state affiliates, and the organization has impacted a total of 45 states, Washington, D.C. and territories.