21 Selected for Emerge Georgia Class of 2023

  • Sep 7, 2023
  • maggie

Atlanta, GA—Emerge Georgia, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women and nonbinary people to run for office, announced it has accepted 21 new class members into the organization’s Class of 2023. This cohort of trailblazing women come from communities across the state and have already proven themselves as leaders and trailblazers with the unique backgrounds, experiences, and identities that make up Georgia. Upon completion of Emerge’s six-month signature program, they will join a powerful sisterhood of 75 Emerge Georgia alums and over 5,500 alums nationwide.

The Class of 2023 represents one of the most diverse classes in Emerge Georgia history with 80% of the cohort being women of the New American Majority–Black, Brown and Indigenous women and women of color, as well as LGBTQ+, young, and unmarried women. These class members come from communities across Georgia who have been intentionally kept off the decision-making table and will help provide powerful representation both on the ballot and in office as they look to run–and win.

“The Emerge Georgia community is excited to welcome our Class of 2023, and our second Signature class,” said Maggie Chambers, Executive Director of Emerge Georgia. “Every member of this class brings their unique backgrounds, identities, and experiences across Georgia to a group of candidates who are eager to learn how to take their next step into public office and bring these tools and skills back to their communities. At a time when we desperately need more women, especially women in the New American Majority, in our public offices and institutions, our cohort members are stepping up to show the power of changing the face of political leadership. We are proud to be a part of their political journey and are excited to have them as part of the Emerge family.”

Emerge Georgia Class of 2023:

  • Tashé Allen, Hampton
  • Cassandra Brown, Mableton
  • Habiba Diab-Njie, Lawrenceville
  • Catherine Frederiksen, Adrian
  • Susan Greenberg, Atlanta
  • Bentley Hudgins, Decatur
  • Cathy Kott, Cohutta
  • Vicki Lucas, Marietta
  • Nakia Mattis, Alpharetta
  • Mekyah McQueen, Smyrna
  • Dr. Jayne Morgan, Kennesaw 
  • Elaine Padgett, Cumming
  • Daaiyah Salaam, Albany
  • Debra Shigley, Alpharetta
  • Christie Stewart, Martinez
  • Madeline Summerville, Atlanta
  • Simaya Turner, Decatur
  • Kristy Walker, Douglasville
  • Nicole Wiesen, Atlanta
  • Vanessa Windham, Decatur
  • Carolyn Wynn, Palmetto

Emerge Georgia’s training program offers Democratic women and nonbinary people who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. Class members who are accepted receive 70 hours of in-depth education over six months that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. The program’s trainers are comprised of an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors and staff from all over the country, who have been involved in some of the most successful campaigns and initiatives seen in recent election cycles. Participants learn from these experts and develop practical knowledge in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, campaign strategy, voter contact, media and messaging and others. Candidates also meet an array of dynamic women who hold elected and appointed office and become a part of a supportive network, which includes a national association of Emerge alums serving at nearly every level of public office.


Emerge Georgia has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2019, the program has equipped 75 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities. 16 Emerge alums currently serve in elected and appointed offices across Georgia, including Lucy McBath, Nicole Hendrickson, and Ruwa Romman. 


Emerge is committed to reaching 100,000 women of the New American Majority, repowering political structures, and fostering a lift as you climb culture over the next 15 years. In fact, 75% of Emerge Georgia’s graduates are part of the New American Majority. 


Headshots and full biographies available upon request. For more information, please visit emergega.org.