Run Sister Run 2019

Run Sister Run: Women of the African Diaspora Changing the Political Landscape

CRun Sister Run panelistsAWP, together with a steering committee of African American women leaders, sponsors Run Sister Run: Women of the African Diaspora Changing the Political Landscape, a preconference session of Ready to Run® Campaign Training for Women. Run Sister Run participants attend a half-day session that targets issues of particular interest to African American women running for political office.  Run Sister Run 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.  

Online registration is closed. You may register at the door; cash or checks only.

2019 Agenda
Run Sister Run Steering Committee

More details about Ready to Run
® here

Run Sister Run/Ready to Run® 2019 Agenda

(Check back regularly for updates; full Ready to Run® agenda with additional speaker details available here.) 

Friday, March 15, 2019

11:00 am

Registration Opens

Noon - 1:30 pm

Welcome and Opening Keynote

Keynote Speaker
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver

1:45 - 4:00 pm

Roundtable: Sister to Sister - Advice from the Experts
Real advice from the real experts - women who have done it themselves. Panelists will provide insights and advice on important topics for current or future public officials, including use of technology, ethics, practical tips for getting and staying informed on policy issues, personal finances, image and presentation, and dealing with sexism.

Panelists: Maria Begg-Roberson, Councilwoman, Rutherford; Marilyn D. Davis, Area Director, Government Affairs, Altice USA (moderator); Susan Hairston, Former Chair, Summit Municipal Democratic Committee; Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Assemblywoman, New Jersey Legislature; Kimberly Shaw, Councilwoman, Borough of Roselle; Tahesha Way, Secretary of State, State of New Jersey

4:15 pm

Ready to Run® Welcome and Opening Remarks

4:30 - 6:00 pm

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.
Tara Dowdell
Tara Dowdell Group

6:00 pm

Networking Reception

Saturday, March 16, 2019

7:30 am

Registration Opens

8:15 – 9:45 am

Plenary Session: What Women Candidates Need to Know

Cate Gormley
Lake Research Partners


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.

Eva Pusateri
President & Founder
Expert Communications and Training, Inc.

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 oneself for appointment to a public board or commission and getting active in a political party.

Panelists: T. Missy Balmir, Senior Outreach Advisory at Office of Senator Robert Menendez;  Amanda DePalma, Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Chris Christie; Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso; Sadaf Jaffer, Mayor of Montgomery Township; Arlene Quiñones Perez, Chair, Hunterdon County Democratic Committee

Noon – 2:15 pm

Plenary Session: Find the Message, Be the Messenger: Strategic Campaign Communications 
This interactive media training workshop will include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to looks 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.

Abigail Gardner
Scottie Public Affairs

2:30 – 3:45 pm

Track 1: Navigating New Jersey’s Political Parties As a Potential Candidate
The 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 party organization is not supportive.

Panelists: Freeholder Angela Garreston, Union County; Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon; Arlene Quiñones Perez, Chair, Hunterdon County Democratic CommitteeCandace L. Straight, Former Co-Chair, New Jersey Republican State Committee; Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg

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.

Panelists: Jeanette Hoffman, President, Marathon Public Affairs; Jeannine LaRue, Senior Vice President, Kaufman Zita Group

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”.

Nancy Bocskor
The Nancy Bocskor Company


Run Sister Run Steering Committee

(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.) 

Tahirah Cooper

Tara Dowdell
The Tara Dowdell Group, LLC

Joyce Wilson Harley, Esq. 

Desha Jackson
New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA)

Barbara George Johnson
John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, Thomas Edison State University

Francesca Dulce Larson
Mosaic Strategies Group

Shoshanna Page

Genia Philip



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