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Democracy Transformation

The Democracy Transformation Project aims to build a new bench of diverse democracy leaders, experts, and advocates who truly are representative of our communities and demographics. We serve as a hub, connecting leaders from different communities working on similar reform efforts. We engage these leaders, elected and unelected, in various virtual and in-person learning and co-learning experiences. We offer them opportunities to teach, facilitate, conduct research, present their work at conferences and convenings, and we facilitate ongoing community building to create connective tissue between leaders who may otherwise be working in isolation in their communities.


Phase 1:
Community Building

We convene a yearly Democracy Transformation Summit, where a cohort of women of color leaders from around the country come together for co-learning, collective visioning and relationship building. We also engage other community leaders in various democracy projects, such as community conversations, learning opportunities, and more.

Phase 2:
Co-creating work plans, leveraging resources and opportunities

Whenever there is an opportunity to engage our network of community leaders, we develop work plans in a collaborative fashion. We provide technical assistance as needed, and compensate our leaders through mini-grants, short term contracts, or stipends. Additionally, We identify external opportunities for the leaders in our network to lead or participate in, such as national conferences and convenings, community focus groups, panel discussions, media interviews, and various trainings. 

Phase 3:

We invest in our community relationships for the long term. We keep in touch with our leaders as they change jobs, move locations, and get into (or out of) elected office. Our commitment is with them as individuals not with the organizations they represent or the titles they hold.

How We Approach Our Work:

Where Our Leaders Are


In March, 2023, Democracy Rising convened a cohort of 18 women of color from 16 different states for a 4 day summit at the Pocantico Center in NY. The cohort includes local elected officials, government bureaucrats, organizers, and advocates. Each member of the cohort works to increase access to political power to those in their local communities who haven’t had it. The main insight we surfaced was a desire to create an entity that advances the priorities of WOC and platforms WOC as experts in democracy issues.

Meet Your 2023-24 Cohort