Two former Victory Empowerment Fellows are working hard to make history in Minneapolis. Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham are running for Minneapolis City Council and could become the first trans people of color elected to the council of a major U.S. city. Andrea has served as the aide to her ward’s council member for 12 years and currently works as Director of the Transgender Oral History project at University of Minnesota. Phillipe is a Senior Mayoral Aide for education, racial equality and LGBTQ rights.
As a part of the Victory Empowerment Fellowship, Andrea and Phillipe attended Victory’s Candidate & Campaign Training, where they both went through immersive campaign simulations to learn the skills and strategies necessary to run for office. Established in 2015, the Empowerment Fellowship aims to increase diversity in LGBTQ leadership. Fellows participate in Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training, the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference, a year-long mentorship, among other programming. Twenty LGB leaders of color and trans leaders have completed the fellowship since its launch two years ago — expanding their skill sets, cultivating invaluable relationships, and using tools acquired through the fellowship to affect concrete change.
Whether it’s running for office, working in local and city government, developing civil society organizations or leading in the private sector – all alumni of the Empowerment Fellowship are making sure the diverse voices of our community are heard. Regardless of the election day outcome, Andrea and Phillipe will inspire more LGB leaders of color and trans leaders to pursue public service and fight for equality.