Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit that strives to encourage and empower young women to run for public office, will host a workshop and training Sunday at Texas A&M as part of its mission to help young women obtain the tools and skillset that organizers say will help them run for elected positions of power.
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Judge Michelle Slaughter, academic experts, former officials and Texas A&M students — all women — comprise the list of guests and speakers for the Elect Her workshop and training, which begins Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Bethancourt 2300C of the Memorial Student Center on the A&M campus.
According to a press release, Running Start has more than 100 workshops around the United States for young women ages 13 to 25.
Slaughter, who is one of nine judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will speak at the workshop Sunday. She said Friday that she welcomes chances to mentor and encourage others; she said Elect Her “is an opportunity to do that specifically for women.”
Slaughter said that in her current role, she feels supported by her colleagues and by voters. Four of the nine judges on the CCA are women. When she first ran for district judge in 2012, she said, she initially encountered prejudiced views and skepticism.
“I was 37 years old,” she said. “I was often told ‘you’re too young and too pretty to be a judge.’ I received a lot of skepticism as a candidate, especially challenging a 12-year incumbent male judge. But I never allowed it to distract or sideline me. I was fully confident in my credentials, my experience and my ability to be a great judge.”
“Many women feel marginalized in their professions, especially professions that are traditionally male-dominated, like politics,” Slaughter added. “Seeing and hearing from other women who have been successful in pursuing their political career goals is often exactly what they need to feel inspired and empowered to pursue their own career goals.”
Slaughter will be joined at the workshop by former Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem Jacquie Baly and by student speakers from Texas A&M.
To learn more, visit https://runningstart.org/.