Claiming a Seat at the Table with Kimberly Peeler-Allen

| Jarinete Santos

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This year we chose to acknowledge and celebrate this holiday by also acknowledging that inherent to freedom in America is the opportunity and ability to participate in democracy. And that the power structure and White society at large that were slow to grant Black women the right to vote continue to make it difficult and dangerous for Black women to access leadership in elected office.

As a country, we will not achieve our greatest policies without the voices of Black women.

In a conversation with She Should Run founder + CEO, Erin Loos Cutraro, and Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Co-founder of Higher Heights and Visiting Practitioner, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, Kimberly shared her experiences building the political power and leadership of Black women.

Kimberly’s journey founding Higher Heights with Glynda Carr came about as she noticed disparities in access for Black women in politics. She shared, “I saw time and time again through my work as a fundraiser in New York and being a political operative across the country, how different Black women, in particular, were treated in the process. I said, someone has to create a space…we need to create a political home for Black women.” 

In this conversation, Kimberly shares how to address skeletons in your closet, how to run if you lack institutional support, and what skills to hone as you consider running for office. Check out these clips from our conversation with Kimberly and let us know what you think:

If you know what your skeletons are, get ahead of the way you tell the story. Own your experience instead of letting it own you.

Start doing the work before you actually begin your campaign. Get involved in your community and ensure that the people know who you are and what you value.

The number one skill is your ability to communicate and tell your story. Make sure that you know how to connect with others and leave them with your vision for what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish it.


Be sure to check out the full video in the She Should Run Community.

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