Leaders of Color Alumni Win BIG in November Elections!

November 30, 2023

During the 2023 primary elections, Leaders of Color is proud to have supported six alumni as political candidates . We are thrilled that four of the candidates have won their election for public office! Join us in congratulating: 

  • Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Memphis City Council District 7
  • Pearl Eva Walker, Memphis City Council District 3
  • Janika White, Memphis City Council District 8-2
  • ‍Daryl Joy Walters, Louisiana State Representative District 4 

Our program provides training so that Leaders of Color fellows and alumni can support political campaigns. More than 15 alumni supported their peers  and community at large by serving as campaign operatives, organizers and supporters, including: 

  • John Bradley, Class of 2021, Campaign Manager (Michalyn Easter-Thomas) 
  • Clifford Stockton, Class of 2018, Political Consultant (Pearl Eva Walker) 
  • Lynn Whitney, Class of 2022, Campaign Manager (Pearl Eva Walker) & Marketing Consultant (Michalyn Easter-Thomas) 
  • Kathryn Winsley, Class of 2022, Campaign Operative (Michalyn Easter-Thomas) 
  • Grassroots campaigning and organizing:
  • Arriell Gibson, Class of 2021, Shelby County Young Dems
  • Amber Sherman, Class of 2023, Shelby County Young Dems 
  • Rachael Spriggs, Class of 2023, The Equity Alliance 
  • Kathryn Winsley, Class of 2022, Shelby County Young Dems
  • Anthony Kenney, Class of 2023, Lead Organizer Geaux Vote Campaign
  • Cliff Lewis, Class of 2023, Campaign Operative
  • J. Christopher Johnson, Class of 2023, Louisiana Democrats
  • James Baker, Class of 2023, Campaign Operative (Joy Walters)
  • James Self, Class of 2023, Campaign Operative
  • Jordan Johnson, Class of 2023, Campaign Operative
  • Josh Davis, Class of 2023, Campaign Operative (Joy Walters)
  • Keith Bradford, Class of 2023, Campaign Staffer
  • Morgan Walker, Class of 2023, Organizer Bike-N-Vote
  • RJ Johnson, Class of 2023, Caddo Dems
  • Simeon Dickerson, Class of 2023, Campaign Staffer
  • Anthony Jackson Jr, Class of 2021, Orleans Parish Dems
  • Iran Seth Heavey, Class of 2020, Campaign Operative
  • Laketa Smith, Class of 2022, Organizer Louisiana Democrats, Black Voters Matter
  • Felicia Williams, Class of 2022, Organizer Louisiana Democrats, Black Voters Matter

Black and Latinx leaders often face several barriers when running for and being elected to public office. These barriers are rooted in historical and systemic factors that have contributed to underrepresentation and disparities in political leadership. Leaders of Color has recognized these barriers and is proud to address them through our 70-hour training fellowship, individualized coaching experience and consistent alumni engagement. 

Learn more about our Leaders of Color 2023 Election winners: 

Daryl Joy Walters, Louisiana State Representative District 4 

Daryl Joy Walters is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas and a specialized certificate from Yale University’s Women’s Campaign School. Also she holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton, Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. Joy knows that she stands on the shoulders of giants and leaders, who have paved the way for her success. It is for these reasons that she fights passionately for the under-represented and the underserved in our communities. Daryl Joy Walters is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated, initiated in the Alpha Iota Chapter. Also Joy is a faithful member of the Mount Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, where Dr. Harry Blake Sr. is the Pastor.

‍‍Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Memphis City Council D7

A lifetime of community involvement taught Michalyn that organizing with neighbors and community groups is about listening first, and must be followed up by passionate advocacy on their behalf. She is already well experienced in acquiring resources and community funding through grants and initiatives, and looks forward to using an elevated platform to amplify the voice of the community. As a former teacher, Easter-Thomas is passionate about education and leveraging community voice to empower students and families. She recognizes a better future comes only through action in the present, and we can together build the communities our children deserve through action and advocacy.

Pearl Eva Walker, Memphis City Council D3

Walker is deeply involved in the Memphis community, with a focus on energy and environmental justice. She has served as the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP. Her passion for helping her fellow Memphians led her to run for Memphis City Council in 2023 to help ensure Memphians have a just energy and environmental future. Walker works closely with local elected officials and organizations on various campaigns, such as the Memphis Has The Power campaign.

Janika White, Memphis City Council D8-2

Janika is no stranger to service.She was born into it. She’s the daughter of John and Anita White, who both worked at legacy Memphis City Schools as educators and administrators for nearly 40 years. Janika is also the niece of the late Reverend Ralph White. Affectionately referred to as “Uncle Pokey,” Reverend White mentored Janika as he poured his heart for the people of Memphis, served with pride and dignity, and called for reform and justice time and time again in the courtroom. Janika’s campaign platform and priorities focus on her passion for service, honesty, and leadership. She sets herself apart from other candidates running for the Memphis City Council through her extensive experience as an attorney, her deep involvement in the Memphis community, and her strong campaign platform and priorities. 

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