Our Opportunity

Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

We’re in the midst of a historic shift in American politics. A record number of women, people of color and LGBTQ candidates across the country are running for office at all levels -- and winning.

With every fresh win, American voters continue to prove that people-powered politics can enable lasting positive change.

At Shirley’s Table, we reimagine representation at all levels in government by cultivating the next generation of movement-building professionals who believe that politics as usual is over.

Our Mission

Our mission is to transform politics as usual by breaking down barriers to entry, training, and employment in the civic engagement and political sector. We recruit, train, and mentor historically underrepresented activists, community organizers, and constituents so that they can successfully build and lead movements at all levels. We’re flipping the playbook to take our country forward.

Shirley’s Table is led by an intergenerational and multigenerational movement-builders with over three decades of experience in expanding the electorate and mobilizing the traditional base. We have major milestones ahead of us: the US Census and the US Presidential election in 2020 and redistricting in 2021. We cannot wait to develop the talent of organizers, operatives, and disruptors we need to boldly reimagine and fulfill the promise of our democracy.


Who We Serve

We’re eliminating barriers to civic engagement and political careers for millennials (18 - 29), people of color, queer, and unmarried women-- a demographic now known as the American Rising Electorate (ARE). We believe the American Rising Electorate is best positioned to become the movement-builders we need on political and issue-advocacy campaigns.

Movement-builders are professionals driven by values-driven leadership, creativity, relational organizing, and deep democratic participation. They win elections, ignite the non-voter base, and enable positive policy and culture change.

Examples of movement-building professionals we admire include Alicia Garza, Jessica Byrd, and Saikat Chakrabarti. They’ve recently flipped the political playbook through a powerful combination of community, culture, and digital connections. Learn more about the Fellowship application.