Black Women Power: Investing in the Communities that Propelled Our Biggest Electoral Victories of 2017

Black Women Power: Investing in the Communities that Propelled Our Biggest Electoral Victories of 2017

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Aug. 2 10:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Aug. 2 11:15 AM (Eastern)

Far too often, progressives in power only shows up in Black churches and community centers during election season. Virginia and Alabama proved once again that Black women are the most powerful political force in the progressive movement both in terms of grassroots organizing and voter turnout. It is well past the time for progressives to listen to and fight for the specific needs of Black communities. Bottom line: progressives need to be at the forefront of the fight against voter suppression. They need to run on anti-racist policies. And they need to drive resources not just towards turning out Black voters, but in supporting Black candidates running for office.


Beth Lynk


Beth Lynk is Associate Director of Federal Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, focused on shaping Planned Parenthood’s political communications and the media narrative around federal policy, congressional issues and related lawsuits. Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Beth was a Senior Associate at the Raben Group, working in the firm’s Health, Environment, Faith and Justice Practice groups. She directed aggressive and disciplined communications strategies for leading national non-profit organizations, foundations, and companies. She has also served on Capitol Hill in the office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and worked as a Market Strategist at Demand Media. Beth is a graduate of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL

my website


Waikinya Clanton

Waikinya J.S. Clanton, MBA serves as the Director of African American and Women’s Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, where she leads the Party’s latest initiative to engage and organize with Black women through its Seat at the Table tour. Clanton was one of the lead operatives on the Party’s 2017 electoral victories in Virginia, New Jersey, and Alabama. She is a nationally sought-after political operative, strategist and thought leader, having spent more than a decade as a trusted advisor to local, state and federal elected officials.

She previously served as the National Executive Director for the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women), where she proudly reestablished the organization’s training fellowship for Black women interested in the political, corporate or nonprofit leadership via its Leadership Training and Educational Development Institute and created its signature STEM training program for young Black girls, Girls, Gigabytes, and Gadgets (3G).

She began her career in government, serving as a personal staffer to Congressman Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, where she was his trusted aid on constituent based issues and manager of special projects. During her tenure on Capitol Hill, she also served as President of the Congressional Black Associates, co-coordinator of the Deltas on the Hill network and member of the African American Women on the Hill network. She was most recently appointed by the 26th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to serve as a member of its National Social Action Commission, where she advises on the organization’s national policy priorities and engagement strategies.

In addition to her various professional endeavors, Ms. Clanton serves as a member of the leadership council and ambassador of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, an alumna of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Political Boot Camp training program as well as an alumna of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.

Founder of the Power of the PUMP, women’s empowerment network, and former Bonner’s Scholar, Clanton was recently selected as a fellow in the American Council of Young Political Leadership International Exchange program and recognized for her works as an inaugural recipient of the “Activating Our Agenda” award given by the Global Black History Honors.

Clanton’s recognitions, honors, and awards include:
United Negro College Fund with an Outstanding Young Alumni Award
National Action Network with the Action and Authority Award
Tougaloo College, “Top 40 under 40” Award
Congressional Black Associate’s Christine Ray Davis Trailblazer Award
emPOWER magazine’s emPOWER Players award

Waikinya is a profound advocate for pay equality and advancement of women and girls. She has her bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Business Administation.

She is a proud woman of faith and is a member of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

my website

Kiara Pesante Haughton

Kiara Pesante Haughton

Kiara Pesante Haughton recently joined Civil Rights Corps (CRC) as its first-ever Director of Communications. CRC is dedicated to challenging systemic injustice in the American legal system through innovative litigation by working with individuals accused and convicted of crimes, their families and communities, people currently or formerly incarcerated, activists, organizers, judges, and government officials to challenge mass human caging and to create a legal system that promotes equality and human freedom.

Previously, she was the Communications Director for the Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she was one of the youngest senior staffers in the chamber’s Democratic leadership. While there, she led the Democratic Caucus’ communications strategy around the Working Families Agenda and the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, in addition to policies to close the achievement gaps in PK-12 education, reform school discipline practices, modernize the juvenile justice system, expand access to Pell Grants and make college more affordable, raise the minimum wage, provide paid sick and family leave for all workers, and more. She was also part of the battleground states press operation for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Before that role on Capitol Hill, she served as the Southern Regional Press Secretary and National Director of African American Media for the Democratic National Committee during the 2014 election cycle. While there, she led the party’s media outreach and messaging efforts in 11 Southern states, working with those state parties, more than 40 campaigns, and embedding in three on-the-ground including Alex Sink for Congress, Charlie Crist for Governor, and Mary Landrieu for U.S. Senate. Prior to that, she was a battleground states radio and TV booker for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and Communications Director for D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh and the District’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment. While there, Kiara played an integral role in the expansion of Uber, Car2Go, and streetcar services in the city, along with the modernization of the District’s taxicab fleet. She has also served in various roles at Edelman Public Relations, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Kiara was named the 2017 Young Woman of Achievement for Politics and Campaigns by the Women’s Information Network, was a member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University’s class of 2012, served as the first-ever IMPACT Social Media Fellow in 2011, and was one of 17 individuals selected from across the United States and Canada for the 2010 Google Policy Fellowship. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Howard University, where she was a Trustee Scholar. Her thesis focused on how political candidates and elected officials harnessed social media to reach communities of color. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Auburn University.

my website

DeJuana Thompson


DeJuana Thompson is a partner at Think Rubix, LLC, and the creator of Woke Vote. Thompson has over 15 years’ worth of diverse experience serving as a fierce community advocate, political strategist and problem-solver.

Thompson is the creator of “Woke Vote” a program specifically designed to engage, mobilize and turnout an unprecedented percentage of African American millennial and faith based voters in Alabama. The program made over 100,000 contacts helping to propel a Democrat from Alabama to the U.S. Senate for the first time in 25 years.

Prior to joining Think Rubix, Thompson served as National Deputy Director for Community Engagement and the National African American Engagement Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where she managed relationships with national allied organizations on key strategies to engage various constituency groups.

Before working at the DNC, Thompson was appointed by the White House to serve as a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) managing the agencies’ national allied programming and outreach strategy particularly focused on increasing opportunities for minority-owned small businesses.

Thompson also has significant experience working in Democratic politics, holding director level positions with Senator Cory Booker’s Senate Campaign; the 2013 Presidential Inauguration; serving on senior level staff for both of the Obama Presidential campaigns.

Other sessions: Friday Keynote: "Hidden Figures" Panel Discussion plus remarks from Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Electoralizing Our Resistance Strategy Lab

my website