Emerge announces most diverse class in program’s history

Via a press release from Emerge Kentucky

Emerge Kentucky is proud to announce its 12th class that epitomizes the promise and excitement of the changing face of Kentucky politics. This group of 27 women hails from across the state and is the most diverse class in the program’s history, with over half being Black women and women of color.

“We are so thrilled to have such a strong class that represents diverse communities from across Kentucky. Emerge Kentucky is committed to increasing democratic strength in our Commonwealth from east to west, and this group of women will help us accomplish that goal,” said Susanna French, Board Chair.

The 27 women in the class represent 15 counties, including Garrard and Magoffin, which are new counties for Emerge Kentucky. The class includes nurses, lawyers, small business owners, students, mothers, and activists, many of whom have been called to action due to the pandemic and struggles for racial equality.

“These women are already leaders in their families and in their communities. We just need to empower them with the skills to exercise this leadership in the political arena. I cannot wait to see how this group emerges into their power in the midst of such a historic time, ” said Gretchen Hunt, Executive Director.

Emerge Kentucky has a strong history of training women to win elections and break barriers. Forty-three Emerge Kentucky alumnae currently serve in elected office, from the Lt. Governor’s office to school board. Senator Karen Berg made history by becoming the first Emerge Kentucky and Democratic state senator in her district in over three decades. Rep. Pamela Stevenson became the second Black woman elected to the Kentucky legislature in over two decades.

In addition to the signature six-month training program, Emerge Kentucky provides ongoing continuing education and a network for its 250 alumnae across the state. The Class of 2021 will begin on January 23rd in a virtual session.

The Emerge Class of 2021

Iman Ali, Pike County

Megan Bailey, Warren County

Stephanie Bolen, Christian County

Alicia Still Branum, Fayette County

Chris Brown, Kenton County

Helen Gulgan Bukulmez, Garrard County

Amanda Corzine, Jefferson County

Keisha Curry, McCracken County

Emily Dudley, Henry County

Pashens L. Fitzpatrick, Jefferson County

Natalie Flores-Esquivel, Madison County

Sarah Froelich, Kenton County

Shana Goggins, Madison County

Holly Hatfield, Madison County

Alexandria Hayes, Barren County

Keturah Herron, Jefferson County

Deja Jackson, Jefferson County

Yolanda Johnson, McCracken County

Carolyn Noe, Campbell County

Emily Sayers, Kenton County

Casey Simmons, Magoffin County

Katima Smith-Willis, Franklin County

Taniesa Velez, Whitley County

Leah Marie Wedl, Fayette County

Rosalind Welch, Jefferson County

Morgan Whiting, Jefferson County

Sarah Yarmuth, Jefferson County

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