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Black women are running for office – and it’s just what America needs

Waikinya Clanton came from Washington, D.C. to Connecticut to learn how to win votes. “I never really questioned it or thought I can’t do this because I’m a woman,” Clanton told the Grio in a recent interview. “The reason why I’m interested in running for office is because there is a need.” 

At the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, she’s in good company. This summer, the intensive one-week training program brought together 80 promising women leaders from all political backgrounds for 12-16 hours a day, teaching them necessary skills to run successful political campaigns. They practiced announcement speeches, tallied campaign budgets and learned how to conduct research polls. 

Waikinya Clanton, 31, a Women’s Campaign School attendee has aspirations to become mayor of her hometown Canton, MS. “People are thirsting for something different and they’re thirsting for something more,” Clanton says intently. The 31-year-old political organizer dreams of becoming mayor of her hometown in Canton, Mississippi. “And I want to be the person who’s able to actually do that.” 

Although women comprise half of the United States’ population, women hold just 19 percent of seats (84 out of 435 seats) in the United States House of Representatives and 21 of 100 seats in the Senate.