Ready to Run® New Jersey
March 18-19, 2016

Pre-conference programs for women of color on March 18
Douglass Student Center
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Online registration is now closed. Registrations will be accepted at the door.
The event is at the Douglass Student Center, 100 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ.
The $250 registration fee includes meals and all conference materials.

R2R 2016

Friday, March 10, 2017

Diversity Initiative

11:00 am Registration opens
Noon- 1:30 pm   

Welcome and Opening Keynote Lunch

Debbie Walsh, Director, Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)



1:30- 1:45 pm Break
1:45- 4: 00 pm

Diversity Initiative Programs
Elección Latina, Run Sister Run, Rising Stars


1:45- 2:15 Participant Introductions

2:15- 4:00 pm Roundtables

4:00-4:15 pm Break


Ready to Run®

4:15- 6:30 pm



Welcome and Plenary Session: 

Internet Stratagies for Candidates, Campaigns, and Advocates

Session Description

Internet outreach is a key aspect of today's political and advocacy campaigns. Online tools including blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online organizing and communications resources are increasingly important for getting campaign messages out to a broad audience of potential voters or stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of best practices and offer practical tips on how to get started or enhance your online presence. 




6:30 pm Networking Reception 
Track 1: I’m Ready to Run, Now What?
Track 2: I’m Not Ready to Run Yet, But


7:30 am Registration opens
8:15- 9:45 am

Keynote Plenary: What Women Candidates Need to Know

Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners

Christine Matthres

Chistine Solstice

9:45- 10:00 am Break 

10:00 am- Noon


Track 1: Launching Your Campaign
This session provides an overview of the key elements of a campaign, including assessing and establishing oneself as a candidate, developing a campaign plan, structuring a campaign organization, and voter contact. 

Michael DuHaime, Mercury.

10:00 am- Noon 

Track 2:  Political Parties, Appointments, and Advocacy – Tools and Tips for Getting Started


Part 1: New Jersey Government and Political Parties

Part 2: Appointments- Tools and Tips for Getting Started

Noon- 2:15 pm 


Plenary Session: Conquering the Camera – An Interactive Media Training
This interactive media training workshop will include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to look poised and professional on camera, staying on message, and public speaking techniques. Selected participants will take part in mock interviews and on-camera practice sessions.

Christine Jahnke, President, Positive Communications


2:15- 2:30 pm



2:30- 3:45 pm



Track 1: Navigating New Jersey’s Political Parties As a Potential Candidate
The session will highlight the power dynamics of party organizations, building relationships with party operatives and gaining the party’s support, and will address how to respond when the party organization is not supportive.

2:30- 3:45 pm





Track 2: Advocacy






3:45- 4:00 pm Break
4:00- 5:30 pm

Plenary: Fundraising for Success

Fundraising is one of the most crucial aspects of a campaign. This interactive workshop covers key components of campaign fundraising, including special emphasis on understanding why people give and the in-person “ask.” The session will also address developing a strategy for your campaign, building a donor list, recruiting and motivating a finance committee, and special events.

Gail Gordon, Of Counsel, Florio, Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader
Stephanie Wohlrab, SW Consulting 

























Saturday, March 11, 2017

For the past 15 years, our flagship New Jersey program has trained over 2,000 women to run for office, seek appointed positions, and manage campaigns.  Ready to Run® program attendees walk away with: 

  • How to” instructions on running for office
  • Fundraising and media skills
  • Real-world advice and best practices from experts
  • Strategies for positioning yourself for public leadership
  • Inspiration to launch a campaign
  • A better understanding of party politics
  • Internet strategies for political campaigns 

Not from New Jersey? Anyone may participate in the New Jersey program, or find a Ready to Run® in your state.

Increasing the Representation of Women of Color in Elected Office 

CAWP has developed a Diversity Initiative of Ready to Run® to attract more women of color into the political process and encourage them to seek public leadership. The Diversity Initiative in New Jersey comprises three separate programs for African American women, Asian American women, and Latinas. Since the creation of the Diversity Initiative, fully half of participants in the New Jersey Ready to Run® program have been women of color.

Directions to the Douglass Campus Center can be found here.

Nearby Accommodations:  Please note that this list is provided for informational purposes only. All participants are responsible for their own lodging reservations. Please check with the hotel for current rates.

Rutgers University Inn, New Brunswick

The Heldrich, New Brunswick

Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick

Hampton Inn, North Brunswick

Holiday Inn Express, East Brunswick

Interested in becoming an exhibitor? Download the form here

We rely solely on grants and donations to provide scholarship funding to program participants. At this time a small number of scholarships are available. To apply, please complete registration and we will contact you. 

For more information, contact Nisa Sheikh at 848-932-8566 or by email at


"[Ready to Run®] is extremely encouraging and gives participants the necessary tools to run campaigns in an informative and fun manner." – Ready to Run® 2015 participant

"New Jersey and the United States need more female leadership. I attended Ready to Run® before I ran for the legislature. It's a great way to learn about the nuts and bolts of politics and things that you may not know about when you're starting out like fundraising, grassroots organizing, or who you get to volunteer on your campaign. All of those questions will be answered from some of the state's premier women leaders." – Former Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Legislative District 11(NJ)

“I found Ready to Run to be inspirational. It was encouraging to see other women who are mothers, wives, grandmothers, caregivers—all kinds of women—prepared to run for office. – Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter, Legislative District 35 (NJ)

What participants are saying about our Diversity Initative Programs....

  • "[Run Sister Run] was very inspiring and made the run for office attainable. You convinced me to run!"
  •  “Elección Latina was so insightful and provided very practical advice.  It encouraged and enlivened in me the desire to become more involved.”
  • “This is an excellent platform for Asian American women to learn about public appointed positions, non-profit work, politics, and running.  It was a worthwhile experience!”