Person

A’shanti Gholar

Nationality:

American

Born:

Las Vegas, Nevada

Occupation:

Left-Wing Activist

A’Shanti Gholar is a liberal activist who has been active in Democratic Party politics and related left-of-center causes all of her adult life. She currently serves as the political director of Emerge America, an organization that trains Democratic and left-wing women to run for office.

Early Life

Gholar was born in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] She graduated from Durango High School in 1999.[2] Then she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. While at UNLV, she served as vice president of the College Democrats.[3]

Career

Democratic Party Work

Gholar got her start as an activist in college when she joined the College Democrats at UNLV. She participated in a national round table of young political activists on the 2004 presidential election that was aired on WBUR radio, which is Boston’s NPR affiliate. At the same time, she was elected president of the Young Democrats of Nevada.[4]

In 2005, she testified in favor of a Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs resolution that opposed “privatization” of Social Security.[5]  Gholar later ran for Nevada Democratic Party Secretary and won. In 2007, she ran for reelection with the opposition of then-Nevada Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas). She defeated Titus’s preferred candidate 70% to 30%.[6] While serving as party secretary, she worked in the office of then-U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada).[7]

In 2008, she was appointed director of the DNC Youth Council. In 2008, she credited the increased presence of delegates under the 35 and younger to the “50 state strategy” and the fact Democrats hired younger staffers and they talked to their peers.[8] In 2009, the DNC Youth Council came out for the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to some classes of illegal immigrants. [9]

Obama Administration

In 2011, Gholar was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Special Assistant to the Secretary in the Office of Public Engagement of the U.S. Department of Labor, where she worked to promote the programs offered by the agency. She served in the agency until 2013. In 2012, she took a brief leave of absence to serve as the first ever Director of Public Engagement for the Democratic National Convention Committee. Before serving in the Department of Labor, Gholar was the Manager of National Partnerships for United Way Worldwide.

Post-Government

After leaving the Department of Labor, Gholar rejoined the Democratic National Committee, first serving as National Deputy Director of Community Engagement. Later, she served as Director of African-American Engagement. In the latter role, she worked with outside groups such as the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the National Action Network. She also worked with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). She also helped promote and pass a resolution of support by the DNC for Black Lives Matter, which was rejected by the party.[10]

Gholar resigned from the DNC in 2016 after she failed to gain the post of National Director of Community Engagement. Her departure angered the CBC because she was in the process of planning its events at the Democratic National Convention. Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wanted to bring in her own people to fill Gholar’s position. [11]

Emerge America

Also see Emerge America (527 PAC)

Gholar was then hired by Emerge America, a Democratic women’s campaign recruiting group, to serve as its first political director.[12]

After the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Emerge America saw a surge in interest from left-wing women as they sought to run for office against Republicans. Gholar claimed that her group saw interest explode, particularly from states that Trump won in 2016. In an interview with Ms. Magazine, she claimed that women were motivated to run for office because of “sexism and misogyny.”[13]

Gholar was a political commentator on the now defunct “NewsOne Now with Roland Martin.” She also currently serves as a partner at the Truman National Security Project.[14] She also serves as a consultant with the firm Democracy Partners and is the president of her own political consulting firm. [15] Finally, she is a frequent speaker at progressive conferences such as Netroots Nation, where she speaks about engaging women and minority voters. [16]

Political Views

During the 2016 presidential race, Gholar supported the candidacy of Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. She vehemently condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, claiming that he “seeks to spread racism, sexism, bigotry and fear.” She also accused Republicans of suppressing black voter turnout and accused the criminal justice system of “systematically targeting black people.”[17]

References

  1. Cullen, Natalie. 2014. “Not Born In Las Vegas? You’re Not Alone But Do You Call Las Vegas Home?”. Nevada Public Radio. https://knpr.org/knpr/2014-12/not-born-las-vegas-youre-not-alone-do-you-call-las-vegas-home.
  2. “Durango High School Class Of 1999, Las Vegas, NV”. 2018. Classcreator.Com. Accessed July 23. http://www.classcreator.com/Las-Vegas-NV-Durango-1999/.
  3. “A’Shanti F. Gholar – Emerge America”. 2018. Emerge America. Accessed July 23. https://emergeamerica.org/staff/ashanti-f-gholar/#.
  4. “Young Voter Roundtable”. 2004. Wbur.Org. http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2004/10/29/young-voter-roundtable.
  5. “Minutes Of The Senate Committee On Government Affairs”. 2005. Leg.State.Nv.Us. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/73rd2005/Minutes/Senate/GA/Final/4533.pdf.
  6. Ball, Molly. 2007. “Titus Denies Playing Favorites Within Party”. Las Vegas Review-Journal. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/titus-denies-playing-favorites-within-party/.
  7. “Turn Tahoe Blue: My Q&A With A’shanti Fayshel Gholar”. 2007. Turntahoeblue.Blogspot.Com. http://turntahoeblue.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-q-with-ashanti-fayshel-gholar.html.
  8.   Adler, Ben. 2008. “Youth Delegates To Rock The DNC”. POLITICO. https://www.politico.com/story/2008/08/youth-delegates-to-rock-the-dnc-012661.
  9. “A’shanti F. Gholar”. 2009. Facebook.Com. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=181112118569200&id=10477320593.
  10. Sands, Darren. 2015. “Sources: Democrats Blindsided By #Blacklivesmatter Statement Knocking Resolution”. Buzzfeednews.Com. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/darrensands/sources-democrats-blindsided-by-blacklivesmatter-statement-k#.liDenYKg9.
  11. Sands, Darren, and Adrian Carrasquillo. 2016. “Top Black And Latino Outreach Officials Leave DNC”. Buzzfeednews.Com. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/darrensands/top-black-and-latino-outreach-officials-leave-dnc.
  12. Sands, Darren, and Adrian Carrasquillo. 2016. “Top Black And Latino Outreach Officials Leave DNC”. Buzzfeednews.Com. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/darrensands/top-black-and-latino-outreach-officials-leave-dnc.
  13. Brinsley, Micaela. 2017. “Q&A: A’Shanti Gholar Is Helping Everyday Women Run For Office”. Msmagazine.Com. http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/07/31/qa-ashanti-gholar-empowering-women-run-office/.
  14. “A’Shanti Gholar”. 2018. Trumanproject.Org. Accessed July 23. http://trumanproject.org/home/team-view/ashanti-gholar/.
  15.   “A’Shanti Gholar | Democracypartners.Com”. 2018. Democracypartners.Com. Accessed July 23. https://www.democracypartners.com/partners/%E2%80%99shanti-gholar.
  16. “A’Shanti – Netroots Nation”. 2018. Netrootsnation.Org. Accessed July 23. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/ashanti-gholar/.
  17. Gholar, A’Shanti. 2016. “Black Voters: This Election Is About More Than Two Candidates”. Medium. https://medium.com/@ashantigholar/black-voters-this-election-is-about-more-than-two-candidates-24cbebee8d19.
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