Personal Democracy Forum

Every year since 2004, Personal Democracy Forum has been the place to come if you cared about the potential of technology to change politics for the better, and you wanted to hear and meet the people who were leading that change. PDF has grown to be a big event, gathering close to a thousand attendees, 140 speakers, 28 breakout sessions and nearly three dozen powerful keynoters each year. PDF 2018 is different. Based off of community feedback, they redesigned the format.

This year at PDF, the focus will be on meaningful action and collaboration. This year, PDF will be about plugging you into the process of change-making.

And this year, they want to make sure we all make good…on our promises, on our values, on ensuring that tech works for social justice, on defending democracy, and on creating a future that we all will want to live in.

Tickets go on sale early March but sign up for the newsletter HERE.

The 2018 Conference on World Affairs presented by The University of Colorado Boulder

Join VoteRunLead Founder, Erin Vilardi, at The Conference on World Affairs from April 9-13, 2018

This year-round unit of the University of Colorado Boulder, offers events without admission fees to the Boulder community, students, and the public. CWA Week is a festival of ideas featuring 200 panels, 100 speakers and performers, over 5 days, attracting more than 70,000 in cumulative attendance each year. There is also the CWA Speaker Series where thought leaders in their field join us for a campus visit with an evening discussion open to all.

Each April, a hundred fascinating luminaries from the widest range of backgrounds gather in Boulder for what The New York Times calls “a week-long extravaganza of discussion and debate” on more than 200 sessions over five days. Roger Ebert, who participated in the CWA for four decades, always referred to the CWA as “the Conference on Everything Conceivable.” The CWA is made up of vast network of engaged, committed volunteers. Many of the presenters would normally command large speaking or performing fees, but all who appear at the CWA waive honoraria and pay their own way to come to Boulder. University faculty, staff and students work alongside local community members to plan and host the week’s public events, as well as the participants’ transportation, housing and social functions.

All events are open to the public, without charge—and attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni, townsfolk, journalists and visitors from around the nation. Audiences at the individual sessions range in size from an intimate 100 to well over 2,000.

VoteRunLead at SXSW

VoteRunLead will be at the 2018 SXSW with Board Chair, Jehmu Greene, Founder, Erin Vilardi & Wisconsin State Assembly Member & VoteRunLead alum, JoCasta Zamarippa training you to #RunAsYouAre. We believe you already have the experience, talent and networks to achieve your political ambition. #RunAsYouAre will accelerate the growth of your political networks and know-how with practical and actionable steps. The workshop will help you make a real plan to get to know your political community and find the best office to run for. With the unprecedented surge in women interested in running for office, our essential and individualized approach equips participants to campaign and win.

Our session will be held on Saturday, March 10th from 3:00pm – 5:30pm in the Fairmont Indigo Room at 101 Red River, Austin, TX.

Register for SXSW HERE!

2018 WomenWerk Conference | Reset: Bounce back from setbacks

In celebration of Women’s Day, NYU Wagner BSA partners with WomenWerk to host the 5th annual WomenWerk Conference celebrating Women’s Day. The 2018 theme is Reset: Bounce back from setbacks and will explore best practices for resilience to deal with unexpected challenges. Learn more about this year’s inspiring theme on the conference website.

WomenWerk is a women’s empowerment organization working to amplify the voices of women. WomenWerk brings women and men together for a modern take on gender equity by curating community events showcasing the accomplishments of women and feminist allies. The goal is to provide a platform for women to affirm and celebrate women’s success and change the way women and men discuss, perceive, and overcome gender bias.

VoteRunLead will be represented by our alum Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel!

The 2018 celebration will bring together leading professionals for insightful discussions and our 5th Annual award presentations. The Conference starts at 9am with this Schedule:

Registration and Check-in

Power Panel I: Men and Women Speak (speakers at

Lunch and Vending

Keynote and Women’s Day Awardees

Power Panel II: Women Leaders Speak (speakers at

Closing Reception

Run As You Are: Ft. Collins Training

VoteRunLead is teaming up with Colorado 50-50 to bring you the resources you need to learn how to run for office. These two groups are coming together to put on a day of empowerment that will leave you with the skills and confidence you need to step up and make a difference. VRL’s “Run As You Are” campaign is specifically designed to arm you with everything you need to enter your race, using everything you already have. Regardless of what political party you affiliate with, VoteRunLead and Colorado 50-50 know that female leaders need support to enact positive change — and we’re here to help you do just that. Join the thousands of women who are taking the Run As You Are Challenge.

From 8:30am-3:30pm, this event will include:

*Facilitated networking over a light breakfast

*Training sessions hosted by VoteRunLead’s Training Director, State Rep. Faith Winter

*Panel of elected CO women

Need childcare? Sign up using Eventbrite, and someone from our team will be in contact with you.

Want to know more about VRL’s upcoming events? Click here!

Don’t forget to check out what’s going on at Colorado 50-50

Ready To Run: Campaign Training for Women

*A Record Number of Women are Running for Political Office in 2018*

Do you aspire to:
* Run for office in 2018?
* Start preparing for a future run for public office?
* Work or volunteer on a political campaign?
* Become more politically active?

Then plan to attend the first ever “Ready to Run” workshop in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Graduate School of Political Management on Saturday, March 3 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on GW’s main campus in DC. The event will be held at the Milken School of Public Health, 950 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20052. 

You’ll learn from the top practitioners and consultants from both sides of the aisle about how to run a political campaign. And you’ll meet key officials from political parties and groups who support women candidates.

This one-day bipartisan women’s political leadership training program, developed at the Center for American Women & Politics at Rutgers, will help you prepare for the 2018 elections, either as a candidate or as a campaign staffer/volunteer.

Tentative agenda will include:

* Why You Should Run
* Laying the Groundwork for Public Life
* Building Your Campaign
* Delivering Your Campaign Message with Confidence
* Key Elements of a Winning Campaign
* How to Raise Money
* Breakout Sessions: Building Your Tribe

The full tentative agenda is available here.


Confirmed panelists:

Deb Sofield; Executive coach and keynote speaker:  Public Speaking/Presentations.

Liz Chadderdon; Partner and Creative Director at Chadderon Lestingi: Campaign Plan.

Crystal Patterson; Government and Politics Outreach Manager at Facebook:  Digital Reputation.

China Dickerson; Founder at Dickerson Strategies:  Messaging.

Jennifer Passey; Councilmember, City of Fairfax: Running for Office

Ashley Carter; Board Member, DC Board of Education:

Nancy Bocskor; Founder at The Nancy Bocskor Company:  Fundraising.

Tuition, which includes lunch, snacks and materials, is $150.

Time for Ilhan Screening

Join VoteRunLead founder, Erin Vilardi at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC for the screening of select scenes from the upcoming documentary film, TIME FOR ILHAN about VoteRunLead alum, Ilhan Omar. Meet the producer and director, get a sneak peak at the film, and be an important part of helping it get over the finish line and onto the screen. We will also feature a discussion with activists working to elect more women and first time candidates to office in 2018.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door and include food, and one drink ticket. All proceeds go to support finishing the film and getting it out ahead of the 2018 election. There’ll also be a silent auction and the opportunity to bid on great prizes including gift cards, art, travel and more.

You can view the film’s trailer HERE.

More about the film:

Ilhan Omar is a Somali-American politician from Minnesota. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to office in the United States. In doing so she accomplished what was then almost unthinkable – she defeated a 44 year incumbent who was heavily favored to win the seat.

Through an engaging and authentic narrative that is also highly entertaining, TIME FOR ILHAN will speak to the cultural and political moment in which we find ourselves, in the aftermath of the Trump presidency, and the more recent #Metoo and #Timesup movements.

Through an ambitious grassroots community impact campaign based on the principal that “you can’t be what you can’t see,” we will team with key strategic partners and influencers to scale Ilhan’s story to shift narratives, inspire women & people of color to run for office, inspire citizens to support women and people of color candidates, and increase voter turnout and participation. We plan to roll out a community screening tour at the college and university level, as well as throughout many other grass roots & community networks. We will develop a robust website and social media presence, and will work with key advisors to develop an educational discussion and action guide to accompany the film for the community and educational screenings. Actions we hope to inspire viewers to take after seeing the film include potentially running for office or becoming involved in local campaigns and other community organizing, and feeling optimistic and inspired about the possibilities of representative democracy. We see this film as having enormous potential to serve as a vehicle for spreading the example of Ilhan’s success story, far beyond the boundaries of her home district and we believe it can help foster a greater understanding of Muslim American Women and immigrants, as well as political outsiders and other newcomers whose voices have traditionally been shut out.


Power Rising 2018

THE POWER RISING SUMMIT provides a space for Black women, from coast to coast, to come together as one, leveraging collective wisdom to develop strategic, actionable ways to build and maximize our economic and political power—for the betterment of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our future.

VoteRunLead’s Advisory Board Member, Erika Alexander will be there to promote VoteRunLead’s mission of training amazing women to run for office and win.

Register HERE

Women Run 2018 – VoteRunLead’s Post Women’s March Event

**We are thrilled to announce NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James will kick-off the celebration, followed by remarkable VoteRunLead alumnae, and Allie Hoffman of March On.***

Join us at the beautiful Helen Mills Event Space on West 26th Street in Manhattan, from 4:00pm – 7:30pm on Saturday, January 20.

  • Inspiring speakers + meet women running right now!
  • Powerful conversation to stop harassment and assault; sign the declaration to lead.
  • Coaches and Experts on hand to help you run, win, advocate, and agitate.
  • Meet community organizations and leaders.
  • DJ Stef Nava, Food, Wine and Networking.

Our “Time’s Up: Ending Sexual Assualt and Harrassment” panelists are City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, Rebecca Traister, write and author-at-large, New York Magazine, and Melissa Mark-Viverto, Co-Founder of 21 for 21 and former Speaker of the NYC Council, and Jehmu Greene, Fox News Contributor and VoteRunLead Founding Board Member. Moderated by Emily Epstein, Executive News Editor, Bustle.

Our experts and on-site coaches include:

  • Rhonda Briggins, national grassroots organizer and campaign strategist.
  • Kimberly Peeler-Allen, recognized expert on black women’s political participation and fundraising for candidates of color.
  • Liz Johnson, rural women’s leadership guru.
  • Moira McDermott, ready to get more women on the NYC Council by 2021.
  • Heidi Sieck, cutting-edge advocate galvanizing pro-choice America.
  • Stephanie Berger, national fundraising powerhouse specializing in women candidates.
  • Monica Klein, for advocacy tools and tips to lead a political life.
  • Nathalie Molina Nino, global entrepreneur, investor and advocate for women and girls.
  • …and so many more!

14 great partner organizations, food, wine and we will end the celebration with a Power Moves Dance Party with DJ Stef Nava!

Thank you to the New York Women’s Foundation, the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the Ms. Foundation for Women for making Women Run 2018 possible!

Note Time Change: The event will end at 7:30pm

The event details:

  • Location – Helen Mills Event Space, 137 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
  • 4:00pm: Power Networking and Opening speeches 
  • 5:00pm: Panel on ending sexual harramement with Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine; NYC Council Women’s Caucus Chair Helen Rosenthal; and local advocates.
  • 6:00pm: There will be consultation and coaching for women who want to run for office, those who want to support them and other advocacy tactics by experts from VoteRunLead, The Broad Room and other organizations.
  • Food and Beverage will be served.