Introducing the DNC’s “Seat at the Table” Tour

Seat at the Table Tour 2018:

Waikinya Clanton
3 min readJul 31, 2018

Huge news! Earlier this summer, the DNC launched our Seat at the Table tour, a new initiative to organize and engage with Black women. We’ve been traveling coast to coast listening to and learning from Black women who are on the front lines — leading the charge to take back our country. This tour is a joint initiative of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Caucus, Black Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Black women elected officials, and community leaders who are fired up and ready to create real and lasting change.

Through the leadership of the tour’s main surrogate — DNC Vice Chair of Civic Participation and Voter Protection, Louisiana state Senator Karen Carter Peterson — this tour works to rebuild relationships, restore trust, and strengthen infrastructure within communities to champion Democratic issues and values as we build towards electoral victories this year. This isn’t just about the voting power of Black women. We want this tour to focus on more than that. This is about the organizing and expertise of Black women. It’s about addressing electoral, economic, and social injustices in our communities. And it’s about connecting leaders, influencers and change agents who are ready and willing to fight for change.

The tour’s programming consists of roundtables with Black women of all walks of life, from across the country, featuring surrogates spanning from Capitol Hill to Hollywood to local community organizers. The tour will be comprised of on-the-ground training programs, grassroots fundraisers, and most importantly — it will be Black women led, run, and focused.

First Stop: Ohio Kick-Off in Believeland

We started our tour strong in Cleveland with some of the best organizers and activists in the country. The Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Chair Stephanie Howse convened “Seat at the Table” Cleveland, a town hall-style conversation with DNC Chair Tom Perez and Cuyahoga County, OH Democratic Party Chair, Shontel Brown.

Pictured Left to Right: Ohio state Representative Stephanie Howse, Chairwoman of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus; DNC Chair Tom Perez and Cuyahoga County Chairwoman Shontel Brown.

Through the warm reception of various Black women community leaders, we learned that what Black women wanted to hear was authentic and specific messaging on issues that are important to them and their community.

Thus, the custom Commit to Vote card:

Shirley Chisholm once said, “You don’t make progress by sitting on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

The DNC’s Seat at the Table tour is our pathway to progress and we are excited to invite all of you to join along with us. For more on the Seat at the Table tour and how you can get involved, follow the conversation online at #SeatAtTheTable.