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A Long Way to Go: A Conversation on Hurdles WoC Face when Running for Office

  • New Women Space 188 Woodpoint Road Brooklyn, NY, 11211 United States (map)

Women of color make up only 7 percent of Congress, with similar or worse representation in state-level offices. With a political system designed for those on the "inside", women of color tend to face hurdles on the road to elected office that other democraphics do not. Those hurdles are often what keep women of color from running in the first place.
Our panel hopes to discuss the hurdles women of color face when running for office, the resources they wish they had, and provide potential solutions to change the system and ensure more women of color are represented in elected office. Because waiting our turn, and playing by the rules are no longer an option. Afterall, why abide by rules that were not written for us?


Adrienne Adams
Adrienne Adams is chairwoman of Community Board 12, the borough’s second largest, encompassing Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, South Ozone Park and Springfield Gardens. She has played a pivotal role in shaping the district's priorities for city budget funding, advocated passionately for constituents seeking improved public services and skillfully guided reviews of development and zoning proposals. Before becoming chairwoman, Adams headed the board’s Education Committee for approximately four years ­ and demanded that the position of schools chancellor be filled by someone with nothing but the highest of qualifications. She was also appointed co­chair of the Jamaica Now Leadership council, which promotes economic development in the neighborhood.

Samelys Lopez
Samelys Lopez is a Project Manager at Common Ground’s Housing Development department. Her work is focused in the construction of affordable apartments in the Bronx. She co-founded a group called Velo City that uses cycling to introduce Bronx teens to issues in urban design, planning, and civic engagement. She was a member of her local Community Board and the Bronx Transportation Alternatives Committee.
Just last year Samelys ran for the position of Democratic Female District Leader for the 78th Assembly District, an area that covers Bedford Park, Kingsbridge Heights, Fordham and a portion of Belmont. She unfortunately didn't win but she did accomplish to receive 30% of the vote which is no small feat for a first time candidate running a purely independent, grassroots campaign driven solely by volunteers.

Athena Moore
Athena Moore most recently ran a campaign to fill the vacancy of District 9's City Council seat. She has served as Director of the Northern Manhattan Office for Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Director of Public Policy at the National Black Leadership Commission on HIV/AIDS, and a budget & policy analyst for former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer. But her true work has been as an advocate for Harlem supporting families and empowering individuals to build a better community.
Athena was Associate Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers-NYC Chapter and a consultant at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. She served as Executive Director of Black Equity Alliance at the United Way of New York City and as a senior manager for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. She worked with over 240 nonprofits, multiservice centers and settlement house across New York City. Athena is an advocate for social services that empower individuals to better support their families and strengthen the community.

MODERATED BY:Aliya AllenCo-Founder, Women of Color for Progress

This is a donation based event with proceeds going to Women of Color for Progress and New Women Space.

Later Event: February 22
General Meeting