NEW YORK, June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, June 18, 2016 VoteRunLead will host the historic Dare to Lead full-day event series –– happening in 7 cities across the country and online –– to train nearly 1,000 women for local political leadership.
The event will be headquartered in New York, NY, hosted and streaming live from the civic tech hub Civic Hall in the heart of Manhattan's Flatiron district with additional locations in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Nashville, TN, St. Louis, MO, Twin Cities, MN or from anywhere online.
The day kicks off with local women leaders sharing their stories and inspiring women to "Truth or Dare," followed by a "Level Up Your Leadership" intensive workshop with trained facilitators from around the country. The Dare to Lead Online Experience will host the nation's top experts on women of color and politics and a specialized young women's track led by IGNITE and Global Girl Media. Facebook will share their insider tips for turning your social networks into political capital.
This is a moment in history building off of the first female presidential nominee and the momentum of 5,000 women gathering this week in our nation's capital, where Dare to Lead will challenge and equip 1,000 women across the country to claim their rightful place as leaders.
Currently, the United States ranks 97th for women's representation across the world, after countries like Rwanda, Bosnia, Cuba and Spain. At the rate the U.S. elects women to the House and Senate, it will take 105 years for women to be half of the United States Congress. State offices won't reach that mark for another few hundred years. While over 52% of the population, women are only a quarter of the state houses. Dare to Lead will ensure we do better.
"At the local level, cities and towns all across the United States still have no women leading them," reports Erin Vilardi, VoteRunLead Founder and CEO, "if we are lucky, they have one. Local democracy matters. One woman, even in the most powerful position in the world, needs numbers behind her. And, we know women are ready to lead at every level. Almost 600 women online and over 400 in person will be joining Dare to Lead this Saturday ready to drive transformation and build the kind of communities we know this country can live up to."
"We will only see real change when women declare their political ambition, run for office, and step into political leadership at all levels," says IGNITE Founder and CEO Anne Moses. "That's why IGNITE is thrilled to participate in Dare to Lead, so we can train college women in cities across America to run for office and own their fair share of political power." IGNITE will follow up with college women by launching college chapters on their home campuses, bringing a message of political ambition and the means to realize that ambition to thousands more young women across the United States.
Dare to Lead is hurrying history –– with tech, with talent and with tenacity. Facebook will be equipping women with the tools to lead 21st century campaign. "Facebook is proud to participate in Dare to Lead and to support VoteRunLead as the organization works to foster the ambitions of women all around the country who aspire to be political leaders," says Crystal Patterson, Government & Politics Outreach Manager at Facebook.
When it comes to diverse representation the numbers are bleak. The Status of Black Women in America Politics, released by Higher Heights for America, shows that Black women make up close to 8% of the U.S. population, yet are only 3.3% of state legislatures. Four states have still never elected a Black woman to their state legislature. Even further, while black women are almost 60% of the black electorate, they are no more than a 1/3 of black elected leadership. Kimberly Allen Peers, co-founder of Higher Heights will share more online at 11am Saturday.
Helen Torres, Executive Director of Latinas Represent will showcase their research on Saturday morning, including their findings that of the 8,236 state and national seats counted in their report, Latinas make up 109. That's just over 1%. Of the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, there are 9 Latinas. That's about 2%.
Diverse women will change the country. Despite their representation, there is a diversity of women ready to lead, ready to create the future, ready to shape their communities. VoteRunLead and the Dare to Lead event supports the ambitions of all women leaders, providing resources and connecting them to a community of other game-changers.
Joining the events will be women who are not afraid to Dare to Lead, from Rina Shah Bharara standing up to Trump, to Ilham Omar vying to be the nation's first Somali American women in any state house, to Sayu Bhojwani leading the charge for immigrant women to step into politics.
Tiffany Pham, Founder of onMogul, the fastest growing global network of women is joined by Melissa Silverstein, who keeps Hollywood on their toes about women's representations on screen, and together will be talking about the power of culture to shape leadership.
New York City's first city-wide elected woman of color, Public Advocate LeTitia James, will serve as the nationwide speaker encouraging women to step up and get it done in public office –– from her work on body cameras to the need to reshape our country's gun laws.
Dare to Lead in 7 cities and online is an unprecedented show of local women's leadership, and is brought to us by presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors and silver sponsor Target.
VoteRunLead is proud to host Dare to Lead with our partner, IGNITE, working together to build an intergenerational leadership pipeline. National sponsors for the event include Wells Fargo Advisors, Target, Facebook, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Dobkin Family Foundation, and EILEEN FISHER. Local event sponsors include The Minneapolis Foundation, George Family Foundation, Dallas Women's Foundation, Microsoft, Women's Foundation of Colorado, The New York Women's Foundation, Meijer, Delta, Brett Family Foundation, Starbucks, Veracity Media, Jimmy John's, Cub Foods, Whole Foods Markets, Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwich Shop, and Enterprise. Free copies of Every Day is Election Day by Rebecca Sive are given to all attendees - online and in-person - compliments of the author and EILEEN FISHER.
Local partners include LOLA - Latinas Organizing Latinas for Action, COLOR - Colorado Opportunity for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, League of Women Voters TN, WIN - Women in Numbers, WPC - Women's Political Collaborative, AWAKE - Advocates for Women's and Kids' Equality, Junior League of Nashville, New Leadership Texas, NY Women's Political Caucus, and Latinas Represent, among others.
Local contacts: For information on local events, please contact the following:
Atlanta, GA: Rhonda Briggins, Co-founder of VRL and Board Member, 205-266-2936, [email protected]
Austin, TX: Shannon Garrett, Co-Founder and Board Chair, [email protected] 616-403-9290
Denver, CO: Faith Winter, National Training Director, [email protected], 303-594-5594
Nashville, TN: Brenda Gadd, D2L TN Lead, [email protected], 865-850-1109
New York, NY: Erin Vilardi, CEO, [email protected], 609-290-2864
St. Louis, MO: Dawn Crandell, VRL Board Member, [email protected], 517-582-3000
Twin Cities, MN: Kidist Tesfaye, D2L MN Lead [email protected], 612-275-3153
Online: Erin Vilardi, CE0, [email protected], 609-290-2864
About VoteRunLead: VoteRunLead is a national, nonpartisan organization that unleashes the power of women leaders in democracy through training, technology and community. We aim for large-scale impact on women's community and political leadership never before seen in the United States. By harnessing social networks as a new and powerful recruitment tool, creating an online platform to learn to run and lead, and conducting in-person trainings that build powerful networks, VoteRunLead will fuel women's ambition for civic leadership and close the knowledge gap around politics for women from all classes, cultures and colors. For press inquiries please contact CEO, Erin Vilardi at 609-290-2864, or by email at [email protected].
About IGNITE: IGNITE is building a national movement to dramatically increase the pool of women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders. To learn more please visit our website at www.IGNITEnational.org. For press inquiries please contact CEO, Anne Moses, at 415-730-4582, or by email at [email protected].
Media Contact: Erin Vilardi, Email, 609-290-2864