Campaigns do better when they reflect the diversity of voters.
But finding trained campaign staff of color to match that diversity is often a challenge. The Blue Institute trains young people of color to become campaign staff and future leaders.
The South and Southwest are the fastest growing areas in the country, and provide tremendous opportunities for new electoral victories. However, the staff of a campaign, must reflect the demographics of the communities they seek to serve. It builds loyalty between the candidate and voters. Talk the talk, walk the walk.
Listen to my interview with Ashley Robinson, the co-founder of the Blue Institute and co-founder Genny Castillo are preparing the next generation of leaders.
Former chief of staff to Leader Stacey Abrams
“BLUE Institute actually started as a project I dreamt up in 2015 when I was chief of staff to former Georgia House Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams. In addition to our legislative responsibilities, our staff was also responsible for helping candidates with their campaigns. The more we traveled the state, the more I realized that a number of our candidates, especially those of color serving diverse and rural communities, were not running professionalized, data-driven campaigns. It also occurred to me that within those campaigns, the leadership was mostly male and white – even if when the constituents were not. Unfortunately, the lower you were on the totem pole in the campaign, the browner and blacker the staff. That deeply bothered me.
I told Leader Abrams about my concern and she said, “You should do something about it.” With her help, we were able to launch a program to diversify campaign staff and leadership and change the way young people of color think about politics. At the end of the day, we want to invite and empower all people of color to have a voice in our politics. And in particular, we want to lift up those of us who have been historically marginalized or completely left out.” – BlackHer
Join the Movement
“Go to www.blue.institute and request a training in their area or sign up for one of our trainings. The great thing about campaigns is that they require people with diverse skills. If you’re an accountant, campaigns always need a bookkeeper. If you’re a graphic designer, campaigns always need design work. If you’re a people-mover, campaigns always need a powerful voice on the ground to rally voters.
Research issues that they are passionate about and find a candidate who embodies their values and ideals. Working on a campaign is powerful and demanding, so be sure to pick someone who shares the same “north star.” If you do that, you’ll be happy to devote your time to his or her campaign. Next, find a way you can help address a pain point for the campaign. For example, use your skills to host an event, set up a rally, or make meaningful connections from your network and do these things authentically.” – BlackHer
Digital Politics Podcast with Karen Jagoda
This weekly podcast highlights impact of new technologies on the campaign landscape, how expectations of voters are changing, role of online fundraising, digital and traditional means of persuasion and getting out the vote. Popular topics on the show include best practices for political and advocacy campaigns, ground game strategies, cross-media advertising, social media trends and impact of mobile on engaging supporters. It features interviews with political consultants, media strategists, journalists, advocates, candidates, elected officials, campaign managers, and solution providers.
TakeAway: Support The Blue Institute train campaign staff of color.
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