About This Episode
To understand the true meaning of #FollowBlackWomen, tune into this interview with Higher Heights Co-Founder, Kimberly Peeler-Allen. Kimberly shares the roadmap of how she and her co-founder built a movement that yields power and influence in the political realm. This interview provides a step-by-step guide to help nonprofits engage audiences in creating change. The organization’s ability to amplify the voices of black women offers a powerful example of what is possible for organizations who can create an emotional connection to their audience that catapults them into action.
About Kimberly Peeler-Allen
Kimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender and politics for almost 20 years. She is the Co-founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office.
Kimberly and her Co-Founder Glynda Carr have built Higher Heights from an idea on the back of a placemat, into a network of over 90,000 members, donors and activists across the country that have helped elect 10 Black women to Congress, 1 Black woman to the US Senate, growing the number of Black women in state wide executive office and leading our nation’s largest cities.
A highly skilled political fundraiser and event planner, Kimberly was the principal of Peeler-Allen Consulting, LLC from 2003 to 2014, the only African American full-time fundraising consulting firm in New York State. Kimberly served as finance director for Letitia James’ successful bid to become Public Advocate of the City of New York and the first African American woman elected citywide in New York’s history.
In 2018, Kimberly was selected as one of the Roddenberry Fellowship’s 20 incredible established and emerging activists to devote an entire year to projects that will make the U.S. more inclusive and equitable through their inaugural cohort.
In addition to her role at Higher Heights, Kimberly recently served as the Co-Executive Director of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Transition Committee. In this capacity, Kimberly oversaw the recruitment and retention of key staff in the New York Attorney General’s Office, the execution of the Attorney General’s inaugural events across the state and worked with the 42 person Transition Committee to develop policy areas for enhancement within the Attorney General’s Office.
Kimberly also serves as a board member of ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equity.
In her words…
Questions Answered on this Episode
Higher Heights has more than 90,000 members. What have you and Glynda tapped into to create such a powerful movement?
I like to trace the patterns of movement building and think about how influencers and celebrities shape what’s important to the broader audience of stakeholders. Have you seen specific actions from well-known personalities or celebrities that have helped raise more awareness for Higher Heights? Have you had any instances where it has had a negative impact?
As you think about the ways you’re creating urgency around more inclusivity for communities of color and the opportunities for women, are there any specific steps that you have seen that have really helped to move the needle?
What are the top three goals for Higher Heights for the 2020 Presidential election? What is required to achieve them?
We’ve seen the power of black women in the political process, as well as in numerous social movements. Do you think that we are making any progress in the way of intersectionality?
Higher Heights is the only national organization dedicated to harnessing the power of black women to elect black women, influence elections and advance progressive policies. What’s been the most challenging aspect of this work?
Do you think the organization has influenced how others look at black women, as it relates to not only our political power but our potential to lead, to create change and to shape the world that we live in?
Prior to co-founding Higher Heights, you owned a fundraising consultancy for a number of years. How does that experience compare to fundraising specifically for black women?
What do you see beyond the 2020 election as it relates to your work?