Emerge Tennessee

Emerge Tennessee

Emerge Tennessee, founded in 2016, is the premier campaign-training program for Democratic women in the state. The Emerge program inspires women to run, and hones their skills to win. Our goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in all levels of public office. Emerge Tennessee is an affiliate of Emerge America, a national organization operating in 22 states. Emerge Tennessee is proud to announce that we have named founding Executive Director, Kristal Knight. Please see our press release here. 

While women comprise more than 50% of the electorate, they still hold just 29% of the elected offices in this country. In the 220 years since statehood, Tennessee has sent only two Democratic women to the U.S. House of Representatives, and a woman has never served as Governor or been elected to the U.S. Senate. There are only two Democratic women in the 33-member State Senate (6%) and only seven in the 99-member Legislature (7%). This dismal lack of Democratic women in office underscores the fact that a very large pool of highly qualified candidates is being left untapped.

Emerge Tennessee's role is to:

  • Recruit women to run for office at all levels of government
  • Train them to run effective campaigns and win races
  • Provide a powerful network to support women running for office

The Emerge model is an intensive 70-hour, cohort-based training program, designed explicitly to address the extra challenges that women face in the political arena by offering early-stage recruitment; top-notch, comprehensive training; and an ongoing network of support. We use a rigorous, highly selective application and screening process to ensure that our participants are great future candidates. Our recruitment effort focuses on all levels of diversity, so that we can add depth and breadth to the Democratic candidate pool.

The track record of Emerge America’s program model speaks for itself. Founded only 10 years ago and operating in 18 states, the Emerge affiliates have trained over 2,000 Democratic women nationwide, creating a powerful pipeline of Democratic women running in politically important districts.  In 2016, over 330 Emerge alumnae ran for office across the country and 70% of those who appeared on the November ballot won their elections.

Emerge Tennessee Welcomes its new Spring 2018 class! Plese check out our press release here.  To stay up to date with news on Emerge Tennessee  Please join our email list to learn more about future classes.

For more information, please contact Executive Director Kristal Knight at kristal@emergetn.org or at 615-482-7206. 

Want to learn more and stay updated on our progress? 

Join our Network!

Please consider a donation today to help our launch!

Thank you 2016 Founding Donors!
Nicholas Baldick | Hon. Karl F. Dean and Anne Davis
Brenda Gadd | Councilwoman Mina Johnson | Emily Passini
Miranda Christy | Emily Flautt | Stephen Fotopulos | Lenore Frey
Sky Gallegos | Doug Heyl | Councilman At-Large Bob Mendes
Christy Pruitt-Haynes  | Cynthia Hubard Spangler | Stacy Richardson
Jaimey Sexton | Perian Strang | Brad Thompson | Dr. Ming Wang MD
Greenlight Media Strategies | Grindstone Research
TN AFL-CIO | Tennessee Laborers | Women for Tennessee's Future

With gifts of $500 or more, founding donors demonstrate their 
commitment to  
changing the face and voice of politics 
in Tennessee 
by recruiting, training, and inspiring 
the next generation of qualified, Democratic female leaders. 

Interested in becoming a Founding Donor?
Email Executive Director Kristal Knight at kristal@emergetn.org or at 615-482-7206.

Follow Emerge TN on Twitter and Facebook!


Emerge Tennessee's Board of Directors

Andrea Campbell, Nashville
Brenda Gadd, Nashville
Sky Gallegos, Nashville
Gloria Johnson, Knoxville
Holly McCall, Franklin
Deidre Malone, Memphis
Enora “Nori” Moss, Chattanooga
Olliette Murry-Drobot, Memphis
Emily Passini, Nashville
Freda Player, Nashville
Cortney Piper, Knoxville
Stacy Richardson, Chattanooga
Maura Black Sullivan, Chattanooga
Jennifer Buck Wallace, Nashville

Why She Runs

Have you thought about putting your name on the ballot? Learn about the Emerge program and why you should run!

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Emerge America needs your help to expand our training.