Who Said She Could Run? IGNITE Returns to Washington D.C. for its Premier Young Women Run Conference

“Who said she could run? She said she could run.” - Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi

Those words, delivered by Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, set the tone for three full days of advocacy, political engagement, and inspiration as IGNITE hosted the Young Women Run conference in the heart of Washington, D.C. Young women from across the nation flooded the conference to learn from over a dozen elected officials, gain political experience, build community, and spend a day on Capitol Hill advocating for impactful legislation. With over 100 participants in attendance, the conference provided young changemakers with the opportunity to own their political potential and become the next generation of leaders. 

“When life opens a door for you, walk through it!” - Rep. Julia Letlow

Images Resized for HubSpot (1)We kicked off day one with opening remarks from IGNITE’s CEO Sara Guillermo. She emphasized the importance of young women entering the political space and encouraged participants to see themselves as leaders. Day one also featured a fireside conversation with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and a lineup of keynote speakers, including Congresswomen Lisa Blunt Rochester, Sylvia Garcia, Jen Kiggans, Julia Letlow, Linda Sanchez, and Rashida Tlaib. Each elected official shared advice on embracing their leadership and their journeys in overcoming adversity to represent their communities.

Participants also had the opportunity to attend trainings designed to help them run for office, advocate and build their networks. From Running For Office 101 to Fundraising Without Fear, each session was designed so participants could see themselves as political changemakers.

“This is the people’s house!” - Jocelyn Yow, IGNITE Legislative Advocacy Director

We kicked off day two at the U.S. Capitol, where participants spent the day learning the ins and outs of legislative advocacy, including meetings with legislators and Congressional staffers in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Menstrual Equity For All Act. PERIOD., an organization dedicated to fighting for menstrual equity throughout the nation, spoke to conference attendees about period poverty and ways to advocate for change.

“Your voice is much bigger than you are.” - Rep. Val Hoyle

Energy remained high as we entered our third and final day of Young Women Run. Keynote speakers included Congresswomen Val Hoyle, Sara Jacobs, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, and Kansas State Representative Christina Haswood. Haswood is an IGNITE alum who became one of the youngest Native American women in the nation to hold statewide office.

Day three also featured a panel spotlighting IGNITE alum and a conversation highlighting the critical need for young disabled women and allies to enter the political sphere and advocate for disability justice.

The Young Women Run DC conference was far more than three days in the heart of our nation. It was an eye-opening experience for over 150 young women, who realized that they have the power to change the world. We’re sure that future congresswomen, state representatives, or even presidents were in attendance with us. And we can’t wait to see what’s next for this incredible group of young leaders. 

IGNITE is on a mission to encourage young women all over the nation to discover and own their political power. Are you ready to join the movement?


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