The New AMerican Majority Cohort

As the 2018 midterms demonstrated, the future of progressive power lies with the rising New American Majority - a coalition comprised of women, youth, and people of color. NLA is seeking support to help 8-10 emerging, innovative leaders who are running organizations that were successful in the midterms in securing and/or maintaining a new political power base at the regional or state level. Our goal is to raise $250,000 by the end of 2018 in order to launch the New American Majority cohort in early 2019. If you would like to contribute, you can make a secure, online donation here or contact our Executive Director, Deborah Barron if you’d like more information.

The Challenge

2019 offers the progressive movement a short and critical window to support the most impactful emergent progressive political organizations in shifting from urgency to sustainability.  However, there are three main challenges to overcome. First, we must the end boom and bust cycle of election funding (e.g. after midterms, the election-year funding that sustained many groups will dry up, leaving many impactful new organizations scrambling for funds).  Second, we must think beyond 501(c)(3) funding and invest in 501(c)(4) initiatives, nonprofit corporations, and political PACs (i.e. because progressives tend to rely heavily on restricted 501(c)(3) foundation grants accessible only to 501(c)(3)s, there is no systematic progressive infrastructure to invest in the capacity of the best emerging political leaders and ideas).  Third, many existing capacity-building programs and resources are not appropriate for early-stage organizations and/or lack diverse and culturally competent consultants and mentor pools.

The Solution

Use 2019 to provide rising, impactful, progressive organizations with an infusion of appropriate and diverse strategic capacity-building support to ensure they can build sustainable organizations and maximize impact. To this end, two experts in capacity-building, politics, and racial and social justice, Deborah Barron (NLA) and Nijmie Zakkiyyah Dzurinko (RoadMap Consulting), are partnering to launch The New American Majority Cohort for 2019-2020. The 18-month capacity-building program will select, vet, and support organizations and leaders who are surfacing as key anchors for their communities, for regional and national coalitions, and/or for nationwide social justice movements.  

The Program

This cohort will strengthen 8-10 high-impact organizations led by women, youth, and people of color who have piloted innovative projects to secure and maintain a new progressive political power base. It will provide in-depth, education, training, strategic planning and organizational development support as well as executive coaching and mentoring by a diverse pool of consultants and mentors. The cohort will focus on selecting:

  • Organizations or initiatives led by people of color, women, youth and/or other constituencies underrepresented in politics that proved highly effective in the 2018 midterm elections.

  • Organizations that employ both traditional field and experimental and digital strategies, with an emphasis on those challenging the orthodoxy as to how things have “always been done” by piloting innovative new methods of communicating with and/or organizing their communities.

  • Local and statewide organizations and/or volunteer networks that helped to produce electoral wins and contributed to unprecedented voter turnout—especially from communities of color.

  • Community nonprofits, social movement collectives, and other groups that successfully engaged communities year-round on social justice policies and locally salient issues such as immigration, health care, minimum wage, policing/incarceration, housing, etc. as a gateway to building a permanent and engaged base of power in their communities.

  • Emerging grassroots leaders who are bring new and innovative ideas, perspectives, experience, lessons,  and trusted relationships to the progressive movement.

Funding Needs

We are seeking funding partners who already are—or are ready to—invest in building a pipeline of robust support for diverse, emerging, progressive leaders and organizations, and who understand that the groups need both funding and capacity-building support to realize their full potential.

Funding commitments in the last quarter of 2018 will be critical to ensure the program can launch in the first quarter of 2019. Please join us in strengthening the leadership of political innovators from the New American Majority.


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