PHILADELPHIA, PA — Today, the Executive Board of Emerge Pennsylvania, a statewide organization dedicated to training, empowering, and electing Democratic women, released the following statement in response to the nation’s calls for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and all the Black lives lost to senseless violence:
“At Emerge Pennsylvania, we are committed to empowering the voices of Democratic women who value Black lives and embody the courage to fight for change. We have committed ourselves to ensure that diversity is reflected in the rooms where progress is possible. But we know that we must do better. In order to change the laws and dismantle the racist systems that endanger Black lives and permit endemic racism to persist, we must change our elected representation. Emerge Pennsylvania is a vehicle for that change and we must build on the strides we’ve made to empower and train more Black women leaders and more women of color to run for office as we fight for justice — together. To ensure this happens, moving forward we will dedicate seats in our cohorts to Black women and women of color. This is how Emerge Pennsylvania will carry out its commitment to empowering the voices that must be heard in our communities.”
In response to the events that have unfolded in recent days, A’shanti F. Gholar, President of Emerge, also released a statement on behalf of Emerge America. She wrote: “Structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-blackness are at the heart of what we are seeing in America right now, but so is the struggle to make our country better.”
Her statement continued: “While we call for justice in the deaths of George, Breonna, Ahmaud and the countless other victims of police violence, we know that is simply not enough. Until our society fully acknowledges that Black lives matter in the way we build our institutions, from the way that our streets are policed to access to quality health care and the economic opportunities afforded Black and marginalized communities, there will be no justice.”
About Emerge Pennsylvania
Emerge Pennsylvania is part of the Emerge national network. Each state individually oversees the locally-based state training program, board, and alumnae network. Emerge’s goal is to engage more Democratic women statewide, build capacity to train more women to run for local office, and work to expand our program offerings to meet the growing need for candidate training programs across the state.
Since 2016, Emerge Pennsylvania has trained over 140 Democratic women to run for office in Pennsylvania. In 2017, 100 percent of Emerge-trained women on the ballot won their respective races for state and local office. As of 2020, 22 Emerge-trained women are serving in elected office in Pennsylvania.