Ready to Lead®: Training Immigrants and People of Color to Embrace their Political Power in Washington State

In 2018, OneAmerica established a new partnership with New American Leaders to host the Ready to Lead® candidate training program in Washington. This training program is specifically designed for first and second generation immigrants and people of color who want to run for office or work in politics. It identifies the immigrant experience as an asset in civic leadership. The curriculum, specifically designed by immigrants for immigrants, shows trainees how to message, target, fundraise, embrace one’s heritage and become a successful candidate.

Since 2018 we have trained 44 individuals who hope to create change in their communities! Eight Ready to Lead® alumni are currently running for local offices across Washington State.

Here is what some of the folks who went through the Ready to Lead® program this past April had to say about their experience:

“New American Leaders made me realize that I have the ability and what it takes to run for office. It provided me with the skills and knowledge I will need to run and win a race.” —Susana Roman

“Seeing elected officials that look like me and hearing them sound like me empowered me to a new level to be more politically engaged. Most importantly, I feel more prepared and confident making my announcement.” –Rocio Carrion

“My participation in New American Leaders has been transformative. It validated my experience as a proud Latinx woman of color and a proud American.” –Suzette Cruz

Going through this training experience has been an inspiration to me. I have learned more than I thought was possible in just a few short days. I have met amazing people with vision and stories that give you faith in the human spirit and who should be our leaders, law makers, judges and representatives. This program has also given me a new perspective about myself. I can see myself running and winning. — Karama Calloway

I attended Ready to Lead training as merely an exploratory exercise. After completing the training, I leave more reassured than ever that I am ready to seriously consider running for an elected position. This training gave me the opportunity to delve deep within myself and find the courage to accept that our democracy needs more people like myself in office. I feel empowered. –Anonymous

We will be holding another training early next year. Be on the lookout for the application link this Fall on our Facebook page.