Rising Stars

Rising Stars: Educating Asian American Women for Politics

CRising Stars participantsAWP, together with a steering committee of Asian American women leaders, sponsors Rising Stars: Educating Asian American Women for Politics, a preconference session of the Ready to Run® Campaign Training for Women. Rising Stars participants attend a half-day session that targets issues of particular interest to Asian American women running for political office.  Rising Stars participants then attend Ready to Run® to learn about the nuts and bolts of working on a campaign. Ready to Run® offers a unique opportunity for potential women candidates to hear directly from prominent elected and appointed leaders, campaign consultants, and party officials about how to get Ready to Run. Topics covered include fundraising, navigating the political parties, working with the media, and developing a campaign plan.  

2017 Agenda
Rising Stars Steering Committee

More details about Ready to Run® here

Rising Stars/Ready to Run® 2017 Agenda

(Check back regularly for updates.)

Friday, March 10, 2017

11:00 am Registration opens
Noon - 1:30 pm Welcome and Opening Keynote

1:45 - 4:00 pm















Roundtable: Serving Your Community

This roundtable features women in the Asian American community who have been involved in public leadership in various ways, including elected or appointed officials, campaign workers, and non-profit leaders. Topics covered include: the experience of running for and serving in elected office; how to be involved politically besides running for office and why participants should be involved in politics in some way; and using community leadership positions, such as appointments to non-profit or government boards, as a way to advocate for issues and gain leadership experience.



Dr. Khyati Joshi, Co-Chair, NJDSC South Asian American Caucus and Professor of Education, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Councilwoman Jannie Chung, Borough of Closter 

Councilwoman Shama Haider, Borough of Tenafly

Rekha Nandwani, Steering Committee Member, NJ Democratic State Committee's South Asian American Caucus

Xiaohan "Shannon" Peng, Member, Edison Township Board of Education 

4:15 - 6:00 pm


Welcome and Plenary Session: Digital Strategies for Candidates, Campaigns, and Advocates
Digital outreach is a key aspect of today's political and advocacy campaigns. Online tools including blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online organizing and communications resources are important for getting campaign messages out to a broad audience of potential voters or stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of best practices and offer practical tips on how to get started or enhance your online presence.
6:00 pm  Networking Reception

Saturday, March 11, 2017

7:30 am Registration opens
8:15 - 9:45 am Keynote Plenary: What Women Candidates Need to Know

10:00 am - Noon

Track 1: Launching your Campaign
This session provides an overview of the key elements of a campaign, including assessing and establishing oneself as a candidate, developing a campaign plan, structuring a campaign organization, and voter contact.

10:00 am- Noon

Track 2 : Finding Your Political Voice and Influence
This session, designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have some impact on important issues, offers an overview of the "nuts and bolts" of government and political parties in the state. Topics covered will include positioning onself for appointments to a public board or commission and getting active in a political party.

Noon - 2:15 pm


Luncheon Plenary: Conquering the Camera – An Interactive Media Training
This interactive media training workshop will include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to look poised and professional on camera, staying on message, and public speaking techniques. Selected participants will take part in mock interviews and on-camera practice sessions.

2:30 - 3:45 pm

Track 1: Navigating New Jersey's Political Parties as a Potential Candidate
This session will highlight the power dynamics of party organizations, building relationships with party operatives and gaining the party's support, and will address how to respond when the part organization is not supportive.

2:30 - 3:45 pm


Track 2: Legislative Advocacy
This session is designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have an impact on important issues. Legislative advocacy is working with individual lawmakers and lawmaking bodies to gain support for your cause or initiative. Learn how to organize a legislative advocacy campaign, including gathering allies, creating a campaign structure, building a communication network, and cultivating media relationships.
4:00 - 5:30 pm


Plenary: Fundraising for Success
Fundraising is one of the most crucial aspects of a campaign. This interactive workshop covers key components of campaign fundraising, including special emphasis on understanding why people give and the in-person “ask.” The session will also address developing a strategy for your campaign, building a donor list, recruiting and motivating a finance committee, and special events.

Rising Stars Steering Committee

(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.)

Azra Baig
Member, South Brunswick Board of Education

Cecilia Xie Birge
Former Mayor, Montgomery Township

Cheryl Quinio-Blodgett
Filipino American Political Action Committee

Zainab Chaudary

Ludi Hughes
President and Founder, Asian American Chamber of Commerce

S. Nadia Hussain

Tina Liu Jen
Morris County Human Relations Commission
and 80-20 Initiative of New Jersey

Khyati Y. Joshi
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Thuy Anh Le
Former Member, Hillsborough Township Board of Education

Toral Patel

Sapana Shah
Councilwoman, Township of Edison

Jeannie Tsukamoto 
Former Councilwoman, Borough of Madison



Contact Nisa Sheikh at (848) 932-8566 or nisa.sheikh@eagleton.rutgers.edu.